Cities are sitting on masses of data. Exposing it for citizens, developers and businesses can unleash innovation, city efficiencies and new monetization opportunities.

Cities are sitting on masses of data. Exposing it for citizens, developers and businesses can unleash innovation, city efficiencies and new monetization opportunities.
By offering as rich a dataset as possible, cities can enable developers to create applications to improve life in the city and generate revenue.  And by breaking data out of departmental silos, cities can make better decisions based on data from multiple sources, such as real-time environmental data and traffic management patterns, for example. Eventually, data could even be shared across cities to support wider innovations and a smart region, smart nation approach.

The challenge, however, is creating a secure, transparent environment where public data can be exposed and businesses can also feed in their data and be paid for it.  The new FIWARE Business Framework, powered by TM Forum APIs, is addressing this challenge. The Business Framework enables the management and monetization of different kinds of digital assets involving multiple partners. The first iteration will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

A smart city marketplace platform

FIWARE is an open cloud-based platform for the creation and delivery of applications and services, designed to deliver the key building blocks for enabling and connecting smart city ecosystems. In November last year, TM Forum and FIWARE announced a collaboration agreement and the Business Framework is being developed as part of this ongoing partnership.

TM Forum’s Ecosystem APIs, including Product Catalog, Product Ordering and Product Inventory, have now been incorporated within the Business Framework specifications and open source reference implementation. These lightweight REST-based APIs have been crowdsourced from within TM Forum’s membership over the past three years and leverage more than 25 years of TM Forum’s complex management systems expertise in billing, catalog management, service level agreements and policy.

The Business Framework will be used to create a smart city marketplace platform.  The demonstration will be based on three open datasets from the city of Porto and a made-up data set that will represent the input from a paid source, such as a garage. It will show how smart city data services from different partners can be exposed, priced, monetized and consumed within the smart city marketplace. Applications using the Business Framework to find and order smart city data services will be demonstrated, and access to the real-time data associated with the data service will also be shown.

‘For example, the developer of a location-based app might want to have more information within the app. They can go to the marketplace and find datasets on, for example, fuel and repair garages. The user can buy the datasets from within the app and once the payment has been received, see the new information appear in the app.

The economy of data

Solutions based on TM Forum Business Management APIs, like the one being developed by FIWARE, will create the foundation for an ‘economy of data’ where different business models around data and services can emerge for the benefit of all.

Carl Piva, VP Strategic Programs and lead for the TM Forum Smart City Forum, says, “The FIWARE Business Framework, supported by TM Forum Business APIs, can help to create a solid foundation for this vision”.

    Pierre Gauthier, Chief API Architect, TM Forum, adds, “This demo will give cities and developers an insight into this economy of data model that could be around the corner. And this is just the first step – with input and feedback from cities themselves we can make the FIWARE Business Framework and the TM Forum APIs that power it even better.”

The next stage of the Business Framework collaboration will include the development of open source charging and revenue-sharing components integrated with TM Forum Billing, Product Inventory and Usage Management API-derived components.  These APIs will enable automated billing and payment, and pay-per-use, even in a complex, multi-partner context.

At TM Forum Live! in Nice, France in May, the Business Framework will also be used in the Smart, Sustainable Cities open hack. Using real-time city data, developers will compete to create innovative new applications to tackle city challenges.

Watch the demo at Innovation City (booth 3A11), Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, February 22-25.