The secret to making Finnish city Tampere "smart"

While the Finnish town of Tampere may only have 200,000 residents, it’s the largest inland city in Scandinavia. Set on an isthmus between two lakes, the city is dominated by old industrial buildings, original architecture and a stunning natural backdrop of ridges formed thousands of years ago. Yet despite its small town vibes and compact city centre, Tampere is poising itself to become a frontrunner for 5G technology. Here’s how this city’s urban innovation plans are adding a modern spin to the former industrial hotspot. — Philippe Leonard


Going mobile

Finnish telecommunications company Elisa is working together with Nokia on a project (which could hit €10 billion by 2030) designed to make Tampere “smart” thanks to mobile and fixed technology. Through smart infrastructure and digital connections like modern fibre and mobile networks, the city will be ready to roll out a 5G network in the future. The collaboration is a natural progression in terms of advancing digital technologies since this is the city where Nokia got its start in the 1860s as a pulp mill. “The learnings we are able to glean from this collaboration will benefit Tampere's citizens, companies and visitors, and can also be carried forward into similar collaborations with other cities around the world," says Tommi Uitto, Nokia’s Finland Country Head.

Smart city strategies

So how will Nokia go about making Tampere smarter? For starters, the Smart Tampere project will introduce “key technologies,” such as new types of energy, lighting and e-health services, working alongside local companies, governmental organisations and citizens themselves. The project also aims to introduce a “smart user experience” at large-scale venues, as well as assist with data management and smart mobility solutions. “Collaboration with the city of Tampere and the other organisations involved in the project from the earliest phases will enable smart infrastructure and digital connections to be built and to form the basis of the 5G network of the future," says Mika Railosalo, Elisa's Vice President of Regional Sales and SME Sales in the Corporate Customers unit.

As the city develops a digital ecosystem, solutions like smart lighting, real-time public transport information system and remote care for the elderly through video are just a few of the highlights that will be researched and tested on citizens in an effort to boost quality of life and prep Tampere to become a smart city in the future.