5 Smart Cities Leading the 5G IoT Revolution

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5G IOT Cities

The Internet of Things (IoT) is not only transforming business operations but also the world around us. Networks boosted with 5G, connected across IoT-enabled devices and sensors, are transforming the livability and safety of many of the largest cities in the world. 

At the same time, smart cities are adding fuel to the blazing 5G IoT market. According to a study by Meticulous Research, the global 5G IoT market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of almost 48% annually from 2023 to 2030, reaching valuations close to the $18 billion mark by the end of the decade. 

5G infrastructure vastly expands the opportunity for cities to utilize smart devices, sensors, and data to improve operations and functions. 5G IoT devices also bring a lot of features for enhancing the development of smart cities, including intelligent transportation, smart energy management system, security systems, smart healthcare systems, and public utilities, among others. 

5G and IoT are key components for transforming how cities connect and operate. With IoT’s unlimited potential and 5G’s incredibly fast speeds and low latency, these technologies unleash critical infrastructure for the future of connected communities. There are a number of large cities around the world employing 5G and IoT technologies to build networks across districts and communities while pairing devices and data with the city’s physical services to cut costs and improve sustainability. 

But at the forefront of the IoT movement are five smart cities using 5G and IoT technologies to transform urban living and city-wide infrastructure. Here are the 5 cities leading the 5G IoT revolution: 


At the top of our list is Singapore – the smartest city in the world. Its Smart Nation Initiative was launched in 2014 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and three years later benefited from a government investment of $1.73 billion. Thanks to this investment, the initiative has been able to introduce a wide range of smart technologies in both its public and private sectors. At the centre of the Smart Nation Initiative Smart Nation app, a mobile application developed by the Singapore government to provide citizens with a one-stop platform to access a wide range of services and information. Features include digital identity documents, government services, feedback and reporting, personalised information, and emergency information for all uses, allowing citizens to stay connected with their government and access important services and information. 

But it’s not just the Smart Nation app transforming the lives of Singapore citizens. Another notable technology is the city’s autonomous taxis which help the city's elderly and disabled residents stay mobile using IoT sensor technology. The city-state has a live electronic road pricing system that uses real-time traffic data to adjust toll rates and manage traffic congestion. To help elevate the pressure of an ageing population, a digital health system was introduced – normalising video consultations at the same time – as well as wearable IoT devices to monitor patients connected through its expansive 5G network.


South Korea’s capital has become one of the most prominent economic and technological hubs in East Asia. Home to over 10 million people, over 95 per cent of Seoul residents have already access to 4G and 5G networks, with the city offering free Wi-Fi with over 100,000 access points. But it is Seoul’s city-wide public IoT network that will make Seuol one of the smartest cities in the world. This network, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, aims to support and provide public services such as shared parking, smart street lights and disappearance prevention through the use of IoT sensors. The government will collect data related to traffic, safety, and the environment using these IoT sensors while enabling such data to be transmitted mutually to and from 25 district offices in the city.

Seoul’s IoT efforts seem to arrive just on time, as South Korea has established itself as an APAC leader in 5G deployment. 5G technology will be critical to help realise the full potential of its IoT network, promising high data rates, ultra-reliable transmission, and extremely low latencies. This is especially pertinent when it comes to Industrial 5G, which will improve efficiencies and flexibilities for industrial players, as well as critical industries.



Home to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Channel 4s Made in Chelsea, London has also made a huge advancement in the application of 5G and IoT-wired technologies. The British capital is able to maintain air qualify networks using sensors, with Imperial College London maintaining one set and a Major-funded citizen network that uses over 100 IoT sensors to measure air quality throughout the city. Paired with stricter laws on polluting vehicles, Air pollution in the Big Smoke has decreased from 2017 to 2020. 

Transport for London and BAI Communications are currently deploying more than 2,000km of cabling across London’s Tube network. This will provide uninterrupted 4G mobile coverage underground and create a new backbone of mobile and gigabit-capable digital connectivity across London by linking this fibre network to a network of local public sector buildings identified by councils. 

New York City

The big apple is not just known for its bustling streets, skyscrapers and the statue of liberty. It’s also one of the most mature technology bases of smart cities worldwide. New York City’s tech base includes smart water quality sensors and water meters, smart waste compactors, and a very high rollout of Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies, which are critical for oT-enabled devices and sensors. LPWANS offer low power draw and coverage to wide areas, are more cost-effective than mobile networks and have a wider range than short-range wireless networks. 

Aside from this, New York’s OpenData portal already provides a huge amount of information across many different sectors, including business, education, the environment, government and healthcare, encouraging the growth of a vibrant mobile app ecosystem. The city uses real-time data to respond to rapidly changing circumstances including deciding where to send ploughs during a snowstorm or what streets to shut down in an emergency.  Data is also aggregated over the course of months and years to address long-term problems, such as preparing for rising sea levels


As well as being a haven for cycling enthusiasts, Amsterdam is also among some of the smartest cities in the world. Its Mijnbuur app, allows residents to easily connect with other people in their community, including neighbours, neighbourhood directors, and even the local police. Users don’t even have to speak Dutch to use the mobile app, as it auto-translates messages for non-Dutch speakers. 

The Dutch capital is also home to Smart Flow, an IoT cloud-based platform that monitors sensors to report traffic flow and parking availability across the city. When Smart Flow was first launched, the average time taken to find a parking space was reduced by a whopping 43 per cent. More importantly, it reduced congestion, fuel use, air pollution levels and of course, drivers’ stress levels. One of the best Luminext developed an urban lighting system that regulates light intensity according to the needs of citizens. This smart lighting system operates through remote sensors, and can also be adjusted whenever necessary so that street lights reach maximum brightness once vehicles or people pass by and lowest intensity when the motion sensors do not detect anything in its area of focus