Smart City tech takes centrestage at MWC 2017

AT&T, Harman and Faststream showcase thematic exhibits of smart city related techs at the Mobile World Congress.

smart city
Smart cities at Mobile World Congress 2017 GSMA

This year the significant themes of Mobile World Congress at Barcelona are revolving around the smart city tech. Companies like Intel, Harman, Faststream Technologies and AT&T are all gearing up to show their smart city products at the mega fair, which has around thousands of vendors around the globe and about 100,000 visitors.

As of now MWC 2017 has seen products mainly based on artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G wireless tech, which all are related to the smart city technology.

There are some thematic exhibits that focus a great deal on smart city related techs, such as, the GSM Association's Innovation City. AT&T has also set up an exhibit based on the same, including light pole equipped with sensors that can inform traffic and public safety officials about parking, road and pedestrian conditions. Those sensors can also be installed to monitor the sound of gunshots, weather or air pollution.

AT&T Smart City Tech:

AT&T has signed an exclusive agreement with a division of GE called 'Current'. The partnership focuses on to deliver IoT technology to cities in the U.S. and Mexico. In both countries, AT&T will be GE's exclusive reseller of intelligent sensor nodes. The nodes are integrated almost invisibly within light poles. According to the company, they can work with lighting elements from various manufacturers.

Mike Zeto, AT&T smart cities general manager, points out an intelligent sensor node on a mockup of a streetlight at Mobile World Congress

Multiple sensors and three cameras have been incorporated inside the light poles. Data from the nodes can be connected to a fiber optic backhaul or sent wirelessly over AT&T's 4G LTE network. The existing light poles and power supplies can be used by city governments and equipped with more energy-efficient LED lighting. Governments can pay for the software platform used to aggregate sensor data and for the sensors by using costs savings from energy-efficient lighting.

AT&T Enterprise

Harman Smart City Tech

Harman has announced an early detection and warning system that can monitor vibrations from mechanical infrastructure such as water pumps, at the MWC. The system could be used by city utilities. The Harman Quick Predict system has already been put to use in Intel's fabrication facilities and it was developed using a vibration analysis algorithm built by Intel. Harman makes software for connected products used in industrial settings, autos etc.


Machine learning algorithms are used by the Harman Quick Predict system in to detect when machine vibrations reach a critical point. For instance, after an earthquake the system could assess the health of utilities that process water or machines used in factories. Harman's brands include the likes of Lexicon and JBL.

Faststream Smart city tech

According to a press release, Faststream will also hold an event at the MWC 2017. The company is a forerunner of technology solutions specializing in Big Data, IoT, digital transformation, product & system engineering and security & application development. Faststream Technologies will demonstrate solutions focusing on Iot as well, but the solutions will also include wearables, smart homes, connected cars and everyday objects to the cloud which has an impact on smart cities.


One of the most significant themes to be presented by the company at this tech party is smart parking technology. According to the tech analysts about 80 per cent of cars sold in the U.S. have rear cameras and 20 per cent of the car manufacturers provide WLAN hotspots, which mean IoT solutions for better connected cars could become a major area of focus for more companies.