Powering the Future of Asia’s Growing Economies – Universities

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Rick Seeto

Singapore ●
Mon 25 April 2022

2022-04-25
01:06
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22dc95a23fb944820adae5904f676f53
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Academia
Asia,economy,smart city,disaster,technology,communication,digital,network,development
Free

Asia’s urban population has steadily increased over the past few years, which has led to additional growth challenges for the environment and infrastructure. Technology will be a key leveler in mitigating these issues and ensuring the region is well positioned to seize emerging opportunities.

Already, communication networks serve as the backbone of intelligent networks conveying information as well as data transmission from the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies not only improve the overall quality of life of growing cities, but also overcome productivity constraints.

We have seen a plethora of examples where new technologies have helped solve these growth problems. For example, implementing an AI-powered traffic management system in delhi enabled authorities to make better decisions on how to manage and balance traffic flow by giving real-time information on congestion patterns. Another example is Alibaba’s Brain Citywhich uses AI to ensure more efficient management of public resources in several cities in Asia.

Smart systems also help to effectively monitor and track utility usage, as well as help with eventual conservation. In Singapore under water stress, consumers can track their water usage, quickly detect leaks and reduce water waste. This is made possible by a smart water meter program that authorities use to automatically access real-time meter readings. Previously, authorities had to rely solely on labor-intensive manual readings, which were normally performed every two months.

Digital twins, virtual models designed to replicate a physical object, process or service, are one of the most promising technologies for intelligent disaster prevention and mitigation. The establishment of a digital twin in Cauayan prone to typhoonsin the Philippines, helped improve disaster recovery planning and speed up damage assessment.

When Typhoon Ulysses hit Cauayan in mid-November 2020, the digital twin helped the city deploy mitigation measures, conduct impact assessments, and prioritize initial disaster response.

These are just a few of the digital applications that can help make urbanization more sustainable for cities in Asia, and they all take advantage of communication networks. How to improve the network to fuel Asian growth?

While digital applications can make economies more agile and efficient, they also tend to be bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive, placing unprecedented demands on communication networks.

For example, most smart city initiatives leverage AI and ML to generate valuable insights. Smart devices augmented by AI and ML aggregate billions of data points, generating data streams of different traffic types, priorities, and latency sensitivities, which can cause anomalies and spikes in network traffic.

The integration of millions of connected devices and mobile “citizen sensors” interacting with machines, users and clouds, requires a fundamental redesign of the network. To meet the dynamic needs of new smart city platforms, networks must be more predictive, agile, and able to scale rapidly to move massive amounts of data in real time.

What makes a smart city truly smart is its adaptability. Likewise, the networks that underpin Asian cities will need to adapt to ever-changing dynamics, especially in a context of strong growth in data consumption. After all, cities are constantly on the move. What is sufficient for the needs of the smart city network today may not be sufficient in the years or even months to come.

In the early 2000s, Asia accounted for just under a third of the world’s gross domestic product (in terms of purchasing power parity). McKinsey & Company research found that by 2040, this figure is expected to reach 52 percentmaking the region’s contributions more important than all the others combined.

As the region consolidates its position as the largest and fastest growing economic bloc, major challenges need to be addressed for it to prosper in the long term. Sustainable development is highly dependent on emerging technologies, and countries need to ensure that their communication networks are able to handle the pressures and demands of growing cities.

Only then can the region successfully sustain its growth to become a cornerstone of the global economy.

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The author is vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific, Ciena.



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