The right implementation of Wi-Fi infrastructure equipped with intelligent service management platform can reinvent connectivity ecosystem for customers while at the same time creating better value for the overall stakeholders There is a global movement towards embracing smart technologies weaving connectivity and communications in togetherness today. This movement is happening in various geographies and giving birth to a number of smart cities such as Singapore, Tel Aviv, New York City or London. A similar smart city movement can be seen in India as well where a number of municipalities around various cities are busy rolling out smart city initiatives and Wi-Fi is becoming an integral part of expanding the connectivity canvass. The smart cities are focusing on incorporating Wi-Fi driven communications, while connecting– buildings, lights, meters, and streets – to the management platform with the power of Wi-Fi. Its critical role should be seen beyond internet access, which we will discuss. Meanwhile, even established cities like New York City and London are also making their move into the future by implementing public-private partnerships to extend the range, accessibility, and speed of Wi-Fi for their millions of residents. Public-Private partnership again is key to Smart City success. While the public administration has the power to put the vision and policy in place and in fact authorize it, the private businesses has the ability to build, run and operate the model successfully and profitably. On one hand it is good to see the widespread adoption of Smart City infrastructure, but on the other hand – the smart city concepts need to adopt holistic approach on solving existing administrative challenges smartly. Without having a revenue model and with the ability to n generate monetization opportunities for the overall communication ecosystems and help CSPs drive better value for citizen/ customers. Such objectives can only be achieved when smart cities public Wi-Fi ecosystems embrace next generation service management platform including user authentication, OTP validation, policy control, partner settlement and of course monetisation abilities like Adserver and campaign management abilities. Smart city select and deploy intelligent service management platform which can enable authorities to launch next-gen services with innovative use models for customers, apart from simple Wi-Fi access. For example- A Freemium model made up of basic free access and premium paid hi-speed access. And most importantly such intelligent platforms can also help CSPs monetize the Wi-Fi opportunity and enhance RoI with the help of relevant advertisements, analytics, etc. The global smart cities market is expected to grow $1,134.84 billion by 2019 (Source: MarketsandMarkets) With this wave, in past months, India has announced plans to create 100 Smart Cities; China has committed $8B in Smart City development and research firm IHS projected there will be at least 88 Smart Cities globally by 2025. Perhaps in order to achieve greater success, all the stakeholders including IT companies, telcos, utility providers, infrastructure providers and real estate developers need to come under one roof of Wi-Fi SMP and operate on a partnership strategy – rather than approaching Wi-Fi in silos. Beyond Public Wi-Fi At a time when Wi-Fi is gaining importance as far as connecting smart grids and rolling out easy to use Apps is concerned – government bodies and municipalities need to look beyond merely providing Public Wi-Fi access in order to help customers reap in real connectivity benefits and move towards becoming true smart city enablement. There is no doubt that unhindered wireless connectivity is accepted as a core building block for Smart Solutions and Smart Cities, promoting user engagement and the connecting of smart devices and sensors. Such ecosystems need to have multiple stakeholders where Wi-Fi access needs to have features such as user authentication. And hence, this infrastructure needs to incorporate intelligent platform which can bind all the stakeholders together. One of the leading management consultancy has recently estimated that a fully integrated Smart City strategy can achieve an additional contribution to GDP of up to 15%. And it is important to note that generating this level of RoI will be not be possible by just building public WiFi but actually integrating such Public Wi-Fi networks with Intelligent Management Platforms. Wi-Fi connectivity simply does not mean connectivity and radio access, it is much more beyond that. It involves handshake of a number of stakeholders. Smart City enablement is not a single player game, it is more of a partnership based model where multiple entities including access vendors, application vendors, telcos, govt organizations, system integrators, technology vendors plays crucial role in terms of enabling Wi-Fi access in a single connectivity fabric. Such systems need to talk with each other in an intelligent fashion and this is where an intelligent service management platform can play a vital role in make a smart city truly next generation ready.