Smart Cities will need smarter networks

We got the chance to interview Dr. Juan-Manuel Ahuactzin, the Innovation Program Manager at T-Systems, Mexico. He began his studies in Mexico, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering in 1989. He developed his academic career in France and Canada. Today he continues to build on the ties established from his studies and actively participates in the French-Mexican Image & Robotics network. Dr. Ahuactzin is the general chair of SCiFI 2016 (May 25–26, 2016 in Puebla, Mexico), track on Smart Cities and Future Internet of the AFI 360° Summit 2016 co-located conference.

What is the central topic of SCiFI 2016 and why is it important? What is this event’s vision?

The central topic of the conference is the use of Information and Communication Technology for the development of Smart Cities applications and systems. Thanks to this technology, we can face modern problems. Nowadays, most of the population will be living in a city and by consequence we have to do more with the same resources. We are required to move more intelligently, to generate less waste, to collect smarter. It is essential to save energy, to reduce the noise, etc. Part of the solution is highly related with the use of devices connected to the online world, not only smart phones, laptops or tablets, but many more devices. Our world contains millions of these devices exchanging data and with a need for high-bandwidth and high-speed broadband. From one side, it is very important to implement solutions for the modern cities, make them smarter, and from the other to continue to allow the exchange of data even if the number of devices connected to internet explodes.

In the SCIFI conference we have the vision that smart cities will be possible only if the Internet expands with the appropriate infrastructure and technology. The SCIFI conference is a great opportunity to present original work on these important subjects as well as an excellent opportunity for networking.

What have been the recent developments in the Smart Cities applications for Future Internet? What are the biggest challenges that this area is currently facing?

Juan Ahuactzin
Dr. Juan-Manuel Ahuactzin, a member of Technical Program Committee at SCiFI 2016

Internet is relatively new in our society, however, it became very complex and it is in constant expansion. It became a critical infrastructure for the society, it is crucial for our economy, our education, and basically any productive activity in the world. After 30 years of Internet, the current approach to communications, based on the client-server model, is becoming complex to manage and could become a big, big problem. It is especially true if our cities become smart, with a big number of devices providing essential information for our daily living. High-speed, extremely reliable and secure backbone network with new network models and architectures are examples of recent developments in Future Internet that are essential for our upcoming Smart Cities. The Internet of Things and, by consequence, Smart Cities will be only possible with a new Internet communication paradigm.

The big challenge is to connect our cities to the net, process the information and exploit it for a better life.

What are your expectations for SCiFI 2016?

SCiFI 2016 will be a successful event, where we will find the last threads on Smart Cities and Internet of Things. It is great opportunity to listen and talk to the experts on the subject.

SCiFI is accepting short papers and  demos (deadline March 15th, 2016). Find out more.