Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Report: Getting Smart about Smart Cities

Market and Consumer Insight team of Alcatel-Lucent published the report “Getting Smart about Smart Cities: Understanding the market opportunity in the cities of tomorrow”.

The report’s goal is to offer a better understanding of the market opportunities for service providers. The research team have segmented smart city projects in terms of types and motivations, so that telecom service providers can develop a focused strategy for each.

Research phases

  • First, the researchers reviewed studies undertaken by key stakeholders in smart cities and looked at 18 smart city projects in order to better understand the players, the processes and the focus of vendors and service providers.
  • Next, students from the EDHEC Business School of Nice joined the team for a deeper dive into seven smart city projects. “Persons of interest’ in these projects helped researchers grasp the business models, funding, and engagement models that manage complex relationships among players.
  • Finally, the researchers substantiated the smart city types and the initial motivations behind smart city projects by applying them to 52 projects.


The report identifies are four basic types of smart cities (which can be further segmented). IT box types are the best fit with service provider offerings. Dream box projects require cooperation or partnerships with companies in the industry that drives the project. Black box types are “inaccessible,” except when invited to join the ecosystem. And, Fragmented box projects need a case-by-case evaluation to better define the appropriate strategy.

The research also revealed three defining initial motivations, which will play a role in further development: social motivations intend to improve the quality of life for citizens and businesses; economic motivations result in observable advocacy for economic growth and a new economic model; eco-sustainability motivations intend to hit targeted sustainability goals that will result in environmental benefits. Service providers must take these motivations into account when creating solution offerings and approaching key decision makers.

More info

Getting smart about smart cities