Networking specialist Cisco Systems wants to augment 100 cities in India with connected technology to make them smart cities of the future. To get the ball rolling, it has already partnered with state governments on plans for 14 cities, but it has a much bigger vision for the country.
“I wish to take this number to 100 in the next five-seven years in line with the government’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives,” said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins at a recent partner summit (as per ReadWrite).
The Make In India initiative has as its goal the transformation of India into a global design and manufacturing hub. Digital India is more about massively improving the telecommunications networks in India, as well as bringing rural communities online with high-speed internet for the first time.
Utilizing the government’s support of these initiatives, Cisco has launched new manufacturing operations in the country and plans to introduce a number of internet of things (IoT) and connected devices to make urban centers much more forward thinking. This comes hand in hand with Cisco making its own inroads in the burgeoning IoT industry, as well as showing interest in internet security and cloud computing.
Cisco has had a corporate presence in India for more than two decades at this point and currently employs over 11,000 people across the country. It believes itself uniquely positioned to help kick-start the economy there, as well as to help provide the connected tools the government needs to institute its plans.
This wouldn’t be the first time Cisco has attempted to smarten up a city. It previously did so in a number of developed cities, including Hamburg, Germany, where its connected hardware and software allowed local authorities to control traffic, parking, lighting, and logistics via one centrally controlled network, which it termed the Internet of Everything.