Arcus Infrastructure Partners (“Arcus”), an infrastructure fund with a focus on European infrastructure investment, Deutsche Telekom’s wICT subsidiary T-Systems and management consulting firm Arthur D. Little have formed a strategic partnership to fast-track the rollout of smart city services and infrastructure throughout Europe.
The partners jointly offer cities an end-to-end solution from concept development to full-scale deployment including the provision of financing, technology and operations of smart city projects.
Their approach specifically addresses the increasing demand for integrated smart city services and infrastructure. Public support for smart city concepts has grown significantly and trial projects have been implemented in numerous cities and towns across Europe. The partnership will enable municipalities to sustainably transition from small-scale pilot projects to mainstream holistic service offerings.
The three partners and their extended ecosystems will jointly help cities to plan, design and implement smart city projects. They will also offer comprehensive support to operate their smart urban infrastructure once in place. Furthermore and crucially, they will provide and manage the required financing which to date has often been a key obstacle for municipalities planning to roll out smart city services. The proposed long-term model combines the strengths of the private and public sectors to deploy innovative digital services and infrastructure with a people-centric approach at its core.
Cities and their citizens have identified areas such as public safety, smart mobility & transportation, as well as city-wide connectivity as a priority. Environmental services such as smart waste management or energy saving measures including smart lighting are also in high demand. Legacy urban infrastructure is becoming stretched leading to strong interest in privately financed investment in smart city initiatives. Through the use of state-of-the-art infrastructure, as well as long-standing smart city expertise, the partners are focusing on unlocking societal benefits by offering services that facilitate a rapid transition towards safer, low carbon, resource efficient and better-connected economies.
“This is an exciting opportunity for forward thinking European cities. This new partnership will enable us to access attractive investment opportunities encompassing use cases that span across our core areas of expertise: telecommunications, transportation and energy” said Christopher Ehrke, Partner and Co-head of Telecommunications Infrastructure at Arcus. We see great potential to leverage smart city network infrastructure for multiple use cases and are delighted to be working hand in hand with other European market leaders and municipalities in this burgeoning environment.”
Arthur D. Little Principal Lars Riegel points out: “European cities face large challenges that are becoming more and more publicly discussed. Pollution within city centres and the huge consumption of energy are contributing to climate change and cities require innovative solutions to address this challenge.”
Markus Keller, Senior Vice President Smart City at Deutsche Telekom, explains: “The way we approach the concept of a smart city has changed a great deal over the past few years from initially technology driven products to a holistic view with people centric solutions. With our long-standing smart city expertise, we want to empower cities, citizens and businesses and help them benefit from digital innovation. Together with our partners, we will accompany cities right from the start and make the transformation process as smooth as possible.”