Wireless services

Work package 4 – Wireless City

(leader City of Groningen)

Mobile is the future. Smart Cities’ partners are developing a range of new and innovative services for mobile platforms, while testing and evaluating new forms of urban wireless networks.
The wide use of mobile phones and the emergence of municipal wifi-networks allows local governments to deliver new services, or to adapt existing e-services to bring them closer to citizens or workers on the move. Research shows that e-services enabled for mobile phone manage to reach social groups who currently make limited use of public e-services.

Groningen is currently rolling out a municipal wireless network. Although the network is only in the initial phases of deployment, it is already the largest WiFi deployment in the Netherlands. When completed in 2011, this will be the largest single sign-on WiFi deployment in Europe and will cover the whole of the city of Groningen. Groningen is working with the local police service and with local universities to develop new e-services that will use this network.

Bremerhaven has been working on the development of a tourist and local information system to provide based on WiFi and with fixed and mobile (bus based) access points to provide timely information to users. Hardware and software techniques have been analysed and tested, while a delivery partnership has been developed and links developed between local stakeholders.

Norfolk County Council is also working developing their wireless infrastructure, with the aim of tackling the "final third" of households who cannot afford broadband access and residents of rural areas where the private sector would not normally provide a service because of high unit costs.
Kortrijk is continuing to roll out a wireless network that now covers many public buildings and part of Kortrijk’s city centre.

The lessons that have been learned and the services and technologies that have been developed will be mainstreamed across the North Sea Region.

Projects

  • The pilot will develop a mobile phone application that will provide real-time information on public transportation e.g. bus schedules, movements etc.. It will develop an API for this approach which will be shared amongst partners.

  • The university campus KULAK (part of the university of Leuven) and two technical university campuses (Katho and Howest) will be linked with the city network, first via EDUROAM and then by starting a common SSID on all hotspot-networks “student-in-kortrijk”.

  • The city has already provided a number of PCs in libraries in Edinburgh for the public to use. This pilot will determine the viability of adding wireless internet access to the People’s Network and procure and install the necessary core technical infrastructure.

  • Web statistics show that there are a growing number of people visiting the municipal websites in the Kortrijk region using mobile devices, which have limited screen sizes. A mobile web interface will be developed for a tourist website that will be developed for the 50th anniversary of Leiedal.