Cisco, Huawei take duel to smart cities

Both companies aim to manage and integrate sensors and data tied to smart city networks. The race to be the brains of the smart city is on.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Video: Cisco's new IoT operations platform to support connected device initiatives at scale

Cisco and Huawei are taking their long-running network equipment and management rivalry to a new location: The smart city.

At the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona this week, Cisco outlined an infrastructure financing program and Cisco Kinetic for Cities, a management platform that ingests Internet of things data from buildings, traffic lights and cameras.

With the smart cities effort, Cisco is integrating its Jasper IoT platform as well as its networking technologies. Cisco's Munish Khetrapal, managing director of Cisco's smart cities unit, said the company is gaining traction in more than 500 locations.

"What's driving the smart city are deployments that are driving competitive advantages," he said.

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Khetrapal added that US cities are focused more on returns, budgets, and economics with deployments. Europe is more about sustainability and quality of life.

Cisco's extension into smart cities isn't that surprising given the company has been adept at connecting various networking protocols for decades. IoT and the smart city is essentially a big disparate network.

Here's a look at Cisco's dashboard.


Not surprisingly, Huawei, Cisco's archrival in emerging markets and China, released its own Intelligent Operations Center (IOC). Huawei wants its IOC to be the brain of smart cities.

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As previously reported, Huawei's IOC complements Huawei's offerings of wired and wireless broadband, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, and its LiteOS intelligent operating system, which it said form the "central nervous system" to the IOC's brain by collecting data through sensors and cameras.

Huawei likened the smart city to a living organism.

The approaches of Cisco and Huawei clearly rhyme when it comes to the smart city. Look for the two companies to duel to be the brains behind smart city sensors, networks and operations.

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