Can smart addresses support Bangladesh’s ongoing digital transformation and accelerate it into becoming a smart nation?
For a country with a dense population of 163 million people, poor villagers or slum dwellers found outside the urban areas form most of Bangladesh’s citizens. With rapid urbanization consequently increasing the density of people, the country inevitably faces challenges in terms of sustainable development.
Bangladesh faces issues common to many nations with dense populations, such as famine, poverty, and the lack of an equitable society. Often overlooked is an underlying cause – the lack of reliable, verified residential addresses.
The importance of addresses
75% of the world’s surface is addressed. However, with over half of the global population living without a reliable physical address, these people are left marginalized and unable to participate in the wider economy and society.
Addresses are an essential tool to a country’s development, serving a variety of functions such as proof of living, identity and location, land ownership, as well as providing means of navigation.
Cultural and historical differences between countries have contributed to the diversity and inconsistencies found across addressing systems. With differences in length, order, format and character representation, current systems do not share a unified marking logic.
Current mapping and addressing standards are ill-fitting in today’s digital economy, severely hindering socio-economic growth in many parts of the world.
Fortunately, innovative technology has been introduced to respond to the limitations of current addressing solutions. UNL solves the problem by connecting the physical and digital worlds in one smart location platform. Building the Internet of Places, UNL is transforming places into the next digital platform to enable people and places to become part of the digital economy, help businesses unlock new revenue streams and assist governments in securing an equitable socio economic future for their citizens.
Innovative Smart Addressing to fill the gap
Underpinning UNL’s suite of tools and solutions is an intelligent location platform that gives anyone and anywhere a unique, universal verified address. UNL transforms the physical world into a 3D grid and gives every physical location a smart address. Along with that, UNL provides the data tools to enrich the smart addresses with content and context.
People and businesses without an address can claim and personalize a UNL smart address with contextual information such as custom public and private data, last-mile delivery instructions, access codes and even connect data from sensors and IoT devices.
In effect, these new-age smart addresses allow to not only precisely map out and uniquely identify places, points of interest and businesses, but also provide an interconnected infrastructure that enables access to digital services. This also allows businesses to tap into the economic potential and serve people in previously unaddressed and unserviceable locations.
Powering Smart Nations by blurring the lines between physical and digital
What started as an election manifesto in 2008, “Digital Bangladesh” became the key driver in the country’s socio economic development for the last 12 years. Under the leadership of the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has progressed tremendously with widespread technological adoption. This was visibly demonstrated with the initial set up of 5,000 Digital Centres across the country to provide digital services to its citizens.
With the technological shifts Bangladesh is experiencing, one of the most valuable assets it will have is its non-depleting data stream, becoming the basic raw material to help the country achieve its goals in becoming digitally inclusive and accelerate its transformation into a smart nation. Moreover, the activation of this data is instrumental in achieving more sustainable, inclusive and resilient urban environments.
Building the digital 1:1 twin of the physical world, UNL’s Internet of Places brings the infrastructure to connect, contextualize and activate unlimited potential of location-based data in enabling an array of smart city applications and services. For Bangladesh, harnessing a smart city operating platform, such as UNL’s Internet of Places, has the potential to catalyze shifts and solutions with economic, social and environmental impact:
- Smart logistics and optimization of last-mile services
- Emergency, pandemic and disaster management
- Smart urban planning
- Dynamic crowd management
- Autonomous solutions – e.g. drone and robot deliveries.