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This report analyzes the role of CSPs in smart cities and profiles five key players – AT&T, Verizon, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone – to identify what makes them successful in the smart cities market and the lessons that can be learned.


  • Certain CSPs stand out as being committed to and successful in offering holistic solutions to cities, which not only include flexible, IoT-appropriate connectivity but also other parts of the value chain.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes the current state of the smart cities market and assesses the role of the CSP in that dynamic vertical, evaluating their differing strategies.
  • Identifies key success criteria for doing business in the smart cities market, and compares five leading CSPs against these criteria.

Key questions answered

  • What are the strategies CSPs use to be successful in the smart cities vertical?
  • What are the components of a strong smart cities solution?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for CSPs

The smart cities framework for CSPs

  • Ovum has identified seven key smart city applications for CSPs
  • Funding remains the key challenge for smart cities to move beyond the pilot phase

Where can CSPs play in the smart city value chain?

  • Moving beyond connectivity
  • Which CSPs can (or should) take on a prime role in the smart city?

CSP smart city strategies: Case studies and ranking

  • AT&T, Orange, and Verizon are the strongest smart cities CSPs out of the group we examined
  • Case study 1: AT&T
  • Case study 2: Orange
  • Case study 3: Telefónica
  • Case study 4: Verizon
  • Case study 5: Vodafone


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Authors