The company is partnering with mobile network operators to offer them its street furniture in which to install small cells
Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux is helping Panama City turn itself into a smart city by rolling out innovative digital services.
Working in tandem with Wigo, Panama’s largest free hotspot network with more than 1.3 million unique users, JCDecaux launched free wi-fi service in January this year at 50 bus shelters in the country’s capital. JCDecaux, the number one outdoor advertising company in the world, has been Panama City’s bus shelter concession holder since 2002.
Users can now access the web easily and free-of-charge through a portal that also provides transit information, such as which buses serve a particular stop. It also allows them to geo-locate the next bus on a city map and receive public-service announcements from the city government.
To fund this service and to extend it to more bus shelters, JCDecaux has chosen to explore new market opportunities, such as the sale of advertising on the Wigo connexion portal. This new connected advertising opportunity offers brands a premium audience and a perfect fit with the power of traditional networks.
With connectivity being essential to building tomorrow’s smart cities, JCDecaux has partnered with mobile network operators by offering them its street furniture in which to install small cells. This helps enhance coverage and performance of phone and data networks in the densest urban areas.
In mid-December 2016, for example, JCDecaux joined with Telefónica SA to install a pilot 3G small cell in a Panama City bus shelter, in order to test the device’s performance.
A multi-year national framework contract has also been signed to help the operator replicate this initiative in other street furniture in Panama, where JCDecaux operates more than 550 bus shelters.
To expand its range of new innovative digital services in Panama City, JCDecaux has installed 10 digital CIPs on masts, and manages, sells and maintains them. With a broad range of connected services and interactivity options, this premium network is a huge benefit to both advertisers and the city government, which uses it for real-time public-service or emergency announcements on Panama City’s main traffic arterial routes.
These developments form part of Panama City’s pioneering ambition to become Latin America’s first smart city. JCDecaux’s vision is to facilitate the circulation of public-service announcements in real-time, in publicly accessible areas, using an enhanced wireless network and connected street furniture, all the while meeting advertisers’ needs.
“I am very pleased to have inaugurated the free wi-fi provided by JCDecaux and Wigo in 50 Panama City bus shelters,” said Jose Blandón Figueroa, the mayor of Panama City. “Wigo and JCDecaux are well renowned for their standards of user service. This joint initiative has been welcomed by Panamanians with open arms.
“It enables us to offer even more services to our citizens, allowing them to stay connected and abreast of general-interest messages from our city government. I am very proud that the capital of Panama is Latin America’s first smart city, thanks to a sustainable business model and a fruitful relationship with JCDecaux.”
Jean-Charles Decaux, chairman of the executive board and co-CEO of JCDecaux, said it reaffirms its determination to be one of the major players in smart cities and to take part in the emergence of a connected city that is “ever more human, open and sustainable”.
“Through a virtuous ecosystem, we facilitate access to information for the greater good of cities and citizens for their mobility, as well as for advertisers and their brands. The roll-out of high-quality networks has become one of the major strategic challenges of urban attractiveness and competitiveness, and we are convinced that our expertise, our know-how and our innovative capacity will position Panama as a model smart city for all of Latin America.”
JCDecaux is number one worldwide for street furniture with 524,580 advertising panels, number one worldwide for transport advertising and number one in Europe for billboards. It is also number one worldwide for self-service bicycle hire and a pioneer in eco-friendly mobility advertising panels in more than 75 countries.
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