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Yusuf Kotil: We Are Laying The Foundations Of Smart Cities

Yusuf Kotil: We Are Laying The Foundations Of Smart Cities

Yusuf Kotil, General Director of İsttelkom AŞ, explains his views and activities regarding Smart Cities. He says, “The two most important components of intelligent urbanization are public and telecommunication institutions. As an IBB company, we are working for the benefit of the public and the citizens rather than gain with the sensitivity of both public and telecommunication companies.”

Smart city systems designed as cities of the future with many visionary targets from management services to economics, from transportation to environment-sensitive urbanization, from energy efficiency to effective use of public services, bring a new perspective by changing the concept of municipalism today for livable and sustainable urban planning.

Smart systems are used in the new municipality concept, where accessibility is increasing day by day, by utilizing information and communication technologies. Smart systems remain standing with sustainable, uninterrupted strong telecommunication infrastructure with high quality standards.

ISTTELKOM AŞ, which we frequently hear about in telecommunication infrastructure services, is becoming one of the most important solution partners of smart city systems by producing modern and high technology solutions for smart urbanism.

İsttelkom AŞ Director General Yusuf KOTİL who says, “As ISTTELKOM AŞ we are endeavoring to put Turkey over world standards regarding smart cities by gathering systems in the area of informatics and telecommunication under one roof with a strategy that is focused on quality and productivity” responded to questions posed by journalists regarding smart cities.

First of all can you introduce us to your company and activity area?

We are a company established by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) to provide technological solutions that meet the needs of information technology and communication areas and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of society. We deliver smart infrastructure-based works such as fiber optic infrastructure, data solutions, wireless infrastructure, wi-fi and public and private sectors with all infrastructure requirements in the field of information and communication, with modern quality standards and an innovative approach.

What is your work in the area of Smart City Practices?

Considering that the most basic element for the uninterrupted and continuous operation of Smart City Applications is a strong, good quality and fast communication infrastructure, we can say that our works, directly or indirectly, are actually within the framework of this concept. To expand our fields of activity a little more;

Communication Network Infrastructure Operation Service (AİH)

We provide all kinds of engineering and consultancy services from the planning stage of telecommunication infrastructure services to business processes with the most suitable technological solutions.

Internet Service Provider Services (İSS),

We offer Internet Service Providers (ISS) services for companies and companies in need throughout Istanbul.

Data Center

Worldwide, 640,000 gigabytes of data is transmitted per minute, and it is crucial to capture data in this flow and store it securely. Within this rapid flow, as İSTTELKOM AŞ, we provide sustainable, high-capacity, redundant service and uninterrupted access to all institutions and organizations in need starting with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality as well as data center, hosting and hosting solution services. Of course we do this with our basic standards which is the principle of ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY, SAFE and UNINTERRUPTED ACCESS.

Jointly Used Wireless Services (OKTH),

We provide Jointly Used Wireless Services Usage rights in Istanbul within the scope of authorization documents issued by the Information Technologies and Communication Authority.

Communication with Smart City Furniture, 

In addition to the communication infrastructure of Smart City Furniture; we aim to eliminate the image pollution created by WiFi communication and GSM base stations with city furniture designs that match the city’s silhouette. In these matters, the operator companies offer and commission alternative solutions to companies and institutions.

WIFI / IBB WIFI Services,

In order to raise the quality of life in the community, the most important public benefit services offered by Information Technologies and Communications is our İBB WIFI service to which people can connect for free.

We have over 1.5 million individual users in the İBB WiFi system, where we are the solution partner within the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s smart city approach, at least 2500 domestic and over 150 foreign new users register every day. We reciprocate this interest by continuously updating and increasing these connection points. Today, we will bring the İBB WiFi service, which we have provided with 1718 locations and 3000 access points, to 6000 locations in 2019 and deliver free, fast and secure internet to all Istanbul.

What is the Role of Local Administrations in Smart Cities?

When examining world examples, the institutions responsible for developing and implementing smart city projects are city councils, municipalities or regional governments. According to our public administration structure, this role is undertaken by municipalities. Municipalities are one of the key stakeholders in the development of smart city strategies, development of vision and mission, regulation of road maps and the implementation of projects. In terms of current needs, municipalities are both administrators as well as protectors and solution providers of smart cities

What is the Role of Telecommunication Companies in Smart Cities?

As we are a municipal company, we combine the two most important elements of intelligent urbanism, the public institution and the telecommunication company under one roof. This is not a monetary gain but an appropriate work for the benefit of the public and the citizens. We play a key role in ensuring data and connection which is an integral part of smart cities. We are an umbrella structure that brings together all the stakeholders in the smart city ecosystem.

How and when does digital conversion affect smart city applications??

Smart cities are a part of the digital transformation. The widespread use of technology worldwide at a dizzying pace suggests that today’s needs are addressed by clever urban solutions. Today, the value generated by the increasing data flow and communication depends on the size, quality and time of the collected data. In the process of digital transformation, increasingly produced and recorded data on every corner of the city is shared with the private sector and non-governmental organizations in the framework of the principles of protection of personal data by the city administration, creating new business lines and supporting the economy. Furthermore, efficient processing of data stored in data centers facilitates city planning and life.

How do Smart cities currently contribute to Turkey’s growth or will contribute in the future?

Current technologies are designed to respond to the needs of cities and citizens, making cities more livable and sustainable. On the other hand, intelligent city solutions with new products, services and business models also contribute to the economic development of cities.

There is a targeted study of 30 metropolitan municipalities to be fully smart cities. If this goal is achieved, a saving of 20% in energy will be achieved throughout the country. With intelligent traffic applications, an average of 104 million hours per year can be saved as citizens spend an average of 100 minutes per day in traffic in cities with a population over 10 million. In addition, with intelligent intersection applications, an average of approximately 45% reduction can be achieved per day in terms of intersection standing.

What are smart city solutions that respond to the needs of growing cities?

  • Smart transport;
  • Smart security;
  • Smart energy, water, waste management;
  • Smart buildings and living;
  • Smart health;
  • Smart education;
  • Smart tourism;
  • Smart public administration applications.

What is the last thing you want to add about Istanbul and Smart City Systems?

Smart City Systems are being implemented by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality for both in-house processes and non-institutional processes that have an interface to citizens so that the people can live in a more livable Istanbul where the population is increasing rapidly. These systems are developed by IBB subsidiaries while they are used by IBB and its affiliates. Thus, the IBB, while using the latest technology, also produces this technology itself. This situation is as important for our country as it is for Istanbul. The systems established in Istanbul are eventually spreading to other cities over time. The fact that existing Smart City Systems are more integrated with each other and with planned systems and that they are more integrated with the citizen will increase the efficiency of these systems and will make them more adoptable by the citizens.


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