Change Jakarta into a smart city

Change Jakarta into a smart city


Ooredoo hopes IoT tech can change Jakarta into a smart city

World Population Review clocked Jakarta at 10.2 million residents at the end of last year. If the surrounding metro area is also included, the population exceeds 28 million. Each day, Jakarta residents cope with a variety of infrastructure challenges, including sluggish traffic, shaky power grids, slow internet speeds, and floods brought on by inadequate drainage systems.

Qatar-based international communications firm Ooredoo, the parent company of local telco Indosat, hopes to one day transform the chaotic mega-city of Jakarta into a “smart city,” one which uses ICT solutions to address mobile, transport, energy sustainability, infrastructure, governance, and security issues.

Ooredoo is a company that delivers broadband internet and corporate managed services to consumers and businesses in emerging markets. The firm claims more than ten major cities around the world that it operates in can be classified as “mega-cities,” meaning they host populations of more than 10 million. As the more rural populations move into the bigger urban areas like Jakarta in the coming years, Ooredoo predicts it will see a rise in the number of “smart cities”. As large cities across the world deal with a growing range of issues, including overpopulation, traffic congestion, pollution, and increased energy consumption, Ooredoo hopes the Internet of Things (or Internet of Everything) will be the answer.

In December, Ooredoo was named lead partner in the Smart Cities Council, an international coalition formed to cooperate with governments and speed up the move to sustainable cities. The firm joined global leaders in the smart cities sector, including IBM, Microsoft, MasterCard, and Cisco. In particular, there is a strong demand in emerging economies in the Middle East and North Africa region, as well as Southeast Asia, which are key markets for Ooredoo, the firm says.

However, the term “smart city” is vague. In recent years, Fast Company released a list of the top 10 smart cities in the world, which featured Vienna, Toronto, Paris, New York, London, Berlin, and Hong Kong for various reasons. Of initiatives that earned Toronto the “smart city” moniker, one includes an online smart commute tool that matches up commuters headed to the same destination for ride shares. Paris made the list after the mayor launched an electric vehicle car sharing service called Autolib. Fast Company’s list received more than 100 comments that both hotly contested and supported the publication for its assertions.

According to research group IHS Technology, the number of smart cities worldwide will quadruple by 2025, with at least 88 smart cities all over the world, up from 21 in 2013. “Smart cities encompass a broad range of different aspects, but IHS has narrowed the definition of the term to describe cities that have deployed – or are currently piloting – the integration of information, communications and technology (ICT) solutions across three or more different functional areas of a city,” says Lisa Arrowsmith, associate director for connectivity, smart homes, and smart cities at IHS.


Ooredoo claims to have recently introduced several smart services in Qatar, enabling companies to connect business assets directly to each other or with a central command center, removing the need for human involvement. The technology is applied in a variety of ways, including fleet management, which lets companies manage, automate, and dispatch fleets of vehicles for logistics operations.

Another example includes machine-to-machine medical services, according to Ooredoo, in which hospitals can set up outpatient monitoring, remote diagnosis, home nurse scheduling, medication dispensing, personal fitness, and diet management for patients at any given time without the need to see a doctor face to face. Ooredoo’s smart grid and metering service allows companies to remotely manage in-home energy meters for utility billing. According to Ooredoo, the meters provide instant consumption data, which makes billing fast and error-free.

The firm launched the Smart Living-Baytcom Project at the ITU Telecom World event last year, which was essentially a concept demo house filled with smart tech for better living. The company also says it is implementing a cloud-based machine-to-machine communications service, which will roll out in several countries in 2015. Ooredoo says the services will be available for businesses, and can also play a key role in the infrastructures of mega-cities like Jakarta. Tech in Asia has reached out to Ooredoo and Indosat for more information on this story.

Editing by J.T. Quigley and Paul Bischoff; lead image from basibanget; last image viaWikimedia 

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