rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Top 10 tech cities in the world

Top 10 tech cities in the world

Last updated on: November 24, 2010 14:53 IST

Top 10 tech cities in the world

     Next

Next
Exhibit

Downloading today's newspaper in lightening speed?

Chatting with friends in a running car moving at 120 kmh?

Winding up pending works while sipping a cup of coffee in a cafe?

Going for a shopping and ending up piling your gizmo stock with every useful as well as funky stuff?

Then may be you are in either of these cities where the internet speed is to die for, where the stores are stuffed with every gizmos that would put even James Bond to shame and where connectivity is not an issue as far as digital connectivity is concerned.

We are not going to put them rank-wise; our list includes criteria like broadband speed, cost and availability, wireless internet access, technology adoption, government support for technology, education and technology culture, future potential, availability of gadgets, etc.

Exhibit.co.in calls these places the heaven for gadget lovers and the cities are termed as tech-cities of the world...

Click NEXT to read the top 10 tech cities...

 


 


Image: A collage of top 10 tech cities in the world
Photographs: Exhibit
     Next

1. Tokyo, Japan

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Tokyo, the ultimate canvas of high-tech living is and will undoubtedly be among the top hi-tech cities of the world. From techie gadgets, next-generation cell phones, a high-speed public transportation system, advanced electronics, smaller microchips, robotic bike parking, world-class public transport system to the most advanced gadgets, Tokyo has them all.

Worth mentionable is the Digital Toilet which has even managed to go online. The city is home to some of the big names in the tech industry like Sony, Nikon and Panasonic etc.

Connectivity in Tokyo is just perfect to suit tens of millions of people. From the office to the home, Tokyo boasts of an amazing appetite for technology and an infrastructure that supports rapid expansion.

Internet access is cheap and affordable considering the speed trade off. Japan's most popular Internet option is VDSL from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), which provides 100 Mbps for $ 50 per month.

A 1 Gbps fibre to the home (FTTH) option is available from Kansai Electric Power for $ 90 per month. Web conferencing and VoIP calls are easily accessible in Japan.

In fact, the VoIP market in Japan totals more than 10 million unique IP lines.

NTT has upcoming plans of spending more than $ 40 billion to make it the single most expensive telecommunications project of the country. The renovations include plans for providing ubiquitous broadband for the entire country's 45 million households.

Tokyo leads the world with the maximum number of users of raw broadband speed.

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Tokyo, Japan

Prev     Next

2. San Francisco Bay Area, California

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

This city is a landmark in the map of the technology world. Silicon Valley could pass as the most pious and religious place for geeks since it was here that the microprocessor, microcomputers were first developed.

The southern San Francisco Bay Area, which includes San Jose, is the gold standard of American tech cities. It acquired its name as Silicon Valley in the 70s because of a number of computer companies developed silicon microchips here in Seattle.

That was the beginning which later paved way for big players like Intel, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, Google, and yeah, Apple to get stuck to the place.

Lucky residents, we say, who got to reap the rewards, like access to a 'connected bus' service with free Wi-Fi and touch-screen maps.

The biggest wireless project yet, Silicon Valley has an area covering 42 municipalities and 1,500 square miles in California. It plans to provide its 4.2 million residents with free Wi-Fi. The project aims to offer 1 Mbps wireless Internet free of charge and is being spearheaded by IBM and Cisco.

Several cities in Silicon Valley including Jose, Mountain View, and Santa Clara -- already offer city wide Wi-Fi to their residents, making the area a frequent candidate among world leaders in broadband penetration.

And you thought, Rice-A-Roni is the only treat in this town?

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: San Francisco Bay Area, California

Prev     Next

3. Seoul, South Korea

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The first name that strikes in our mind is Seoul, the capital and the largest city of South Korea. With the headquarters of Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia and SK Telecom, Seoul has become a major business hub. And it has flourished its tech-wings at the fastest.

Today, with a metro population of over 20 million, Seoul competes well in the global economy.

And now, the city is leaps and bounds ahead of most in the world in terms of broadband penetration, services, speed and download capacity. The pace is hyper-fast here and mobile devices and connections are the heartbeat of the city.

With entire apartment blocks that run on fibre-optic cable, appliances that one can programme from a mobile device, a high rate of digital mobile television adoption, Internet access in the subway system and a slew of tech gadgets, Seoul is the among the top of the most tech savvy cities in the world.

When it comes to broadband penetration, South Korea is the world leader with an 83 per cent penetration rate. Seoul is full of Internet cafes, wireless hotspots and gaming areas (called 'pc baangs' available in every nook) making it the ideal city to use the Internet on the go.

Internet access in Seoul is extremely cheap, averaging around $ 20 per month for a 10 Mpbs connection -- that's more than four times as fast and at half the price of the average broadband connection in the United States.

Some areas of Seoul boast commercial Internet speeds of more than 100 Mbps for merely $ 30 per month. With speeds that fast it would only take you five minutes to download a two-hour high definition movie.

And guess what's next a $ 439 million project plan to add wireless Internet access/ Wi-Fi network to the subway trains which would cost roughly $ 20 per month for access. With such a huge broadband presence and a dedication to offering cheap, fast Internet solutions, Seoul is the definition of wired.

Call it a virtual Mecca for the tech-lovers!

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Seoul, South Korea

Prev     Next

4. Seattle, Washington

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

One of the major cities of US, Seattle is one of its kinds when it comes to its technological advancements. Not just nightlife and the world's premier science fiction museum, but the entire city is the hardcore destination of gadget lovers.

Tech companies and coffee, we know Seattle best for these two.

Bill Gates kicked off with Microsoft here with offices throughout the city and he got many followers including Amazon and T-Mobile to scribble in Seattle's white pages.

In all, the popularity of tech companies in Seattle was so big in the '90s that close to 50,000 people moved in.

So, residents should have no trouble at all finding a wireless network, especially when they're enjoying a cup of coffee in a Starbucks or Seattle's Best Coffee -- both of which started here and exist on every street corner.

It's a handy relationship for techies who get to stay wired all day and night in one of the coolest tech cities in North America.

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Seattle, Washington

Prev     Next

5. Taipei, Taiwan

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Taipei -- world's foremost wireless 'cyber city'! The world's largest Wi-fi grids blanket the entire city.

Q-Ware Corp. built a wireless network of $ 70 million consisted more than 20,000 access points with enough range to provide service for 90 per cent of population in Taipei. Now that's amazing as Taipei has more than 2.6 million residents in a 105 square mile area.

Access to the citywide Wi-Fi network is available for a low monthly fee ranging from $ 4.50 to $ 12.

Being in Taipei, you need not rush to your home or office or a cafe to check the stock updates, test results or e-mails. That's the biggest benefit of having an entire city Wi-Fi enabled to have a near-ubiquitous Internet access throughout.

All you have to do is to activate your Wi-Fi enabled smartphone or your portable device and get connected to your friends. And it is not just the free Wi-Fi project, but there are several free web services provided to the inhabitants including lifetime e-mail accounts, ability to pay for city service bills online and a three-hour online training course for Taipei citizens to acquire and sharpen their Internet skills.

No comparison with Seoul, but if you talk about wireless penetration, Taipei is no behind!

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Taipei, Taiwan

Prev     Next

6. Hong Kong, China

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Mind-blowing is the only word to describe Hong Kong when it comes to its tech-quotient. The city uses smart card system for their tram network for easier transport and communication.

Broadband in Hong Kong is very cheap provided by the leading IT company Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN). It provides 10 Mbps residential connection for just $ 16 per month.

A 100Mbps connection costs $ 34 per month, making Hong Kong one of the few cities in the world with the ability to provide such high speeds to residential areas at an affordable cost.

Hong Kong also has a broadband TV service provided by HKBN, which offers more than 70 channels (DVD quality) on every possible subject. VoIP telephony technology is the next upcoming thing in Hong Kong, which would surpass the traditional telephone technology forever.

It is a second-generation broadband phone capable of video conferencing, instant messaging and all of the standard expected features for $ 6 a month.

As a matter of fact, Hong Kong has robots operated restaurants, multiple Wi-Fi zones, high speed internet to name a few of the techno revolutions. Hong Kong opened a high-tech area called Cyberport with apartments and shops all covered by Wi-Fi.

Hong Kong also has biometric system installed schools in track attendance and is one of the hottest spots for gadget shopping.

Truly a digital hub in true sense of the word!

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Hong Kong, China

Prev     Next

7. Singapore

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Singapore is a tech Utopia! Anybody for guessing the cost of wireless broadband in the city?

It is available to everyone free of charge. The government also promises to increase wired broadband speeds to 1gig a second by 2012.

Singapore has one of the most impressive broadband infrastructures in the world occupying almost 65 per cent penetration rate. The Internet in Singapore for a 30 Mbps connection costs around $ 77 per month.

Fortunately, if you're willing to have a few restrictions placed on your surfing, you can receive free 4 Mpbs broadband from Singapore ISP StarHub.

Singapore is one of the biggest booms in the technologically active countries of the world. And the country is gonna expand its IT wing even more in the next 10years. The government has plans for 80,000 new jobs, improving broadband penetration to 90 per cent, improving IT assets and revenue and increasing broadband infrastructure capabilities to support IPv6 and speeds up to 1 Gbps.

This year, mobile money will be made legal tender so residents can pay for items from their phones, handheld computers and wristwatches. Plus RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are mandatory on every car, charging people different prices based on what time they use certain roads.

It comes as no surprise that multinational companies like HP, Fuji, IBM, and Microsoft have set up a presence in this techie-fantasy island.

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Singapore

Prev     Next

8. Stockholm, Sweden

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Internet in Stockholm widespread, very fast and highly popular penetration! The pinnacle of the Nordic Internet market can be found in Stockholm, Sweden.

TeliaSonera, the leading telecommunications company in Sweden, offers a 24 Mbps broadband Internet service for $ 50 per month pending the user signs an 18-month contract and uses a TeliaSonera phone, which costs around $ 20 per month.

Well, in a relatively expensive place like Sweden, $ 70 per month for fast and reliable broadband is an extremely good catch. Not only the home access, which is widespread in the area, cybercafes also have a major role as far as recreation lives and increase accessibility of Sweden are concerned.

Interestingly, Stockholm has some of the biggest gaming cybercafes in the world!

One thing is exceptional for Stockholm that it is concentrating in a different type of wireless Internet technology no, not Wi-Fi hotspots, but WiMAX which is similar to Wi-Fi in that it provides wireless Internet within a limited range. However, when it comes to the radius of the range and available bandwidth produced by the signal, WiMAX is far superior to Wi-Fi (we're talking 20 feet versus 2 miles).

Stockholm is currently testing ways to blanket the city in a WiMAX grid.

Stockholm is the pulse-point for all of this positive radicalism and a great place to visit with a laptop and wireless card. The benefit for residents and tourists alike is fast, prevalent and for the most part, reliable service.

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Stockholm, Sweden

Prev     Next

9. Bangalore, India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Silicon Valley of India, that's what this tech-city of India, is called. With Wi-Fi coverage spread over much of the city, Bangalore is India's techno-hub.

Bangalore has a countless number of top engineering schools that feed the IT economy.

Reputed IT companies like Microsoft, Infosys, WIPRO, HP and 3M have their head offices built in Bangalore. Biotech is the other show in town with just under half of all Indian biotech companies in Bangalore.

This cosmopolitan city is on its way of transformation into an e-city with numerous software and IT companies flooding it with their respective offices. As a matter of fact, 35 to 45 per cent of India's IT talent works in Bangalore and generates a massive chunk of India's overall GDP.

To tell the truth, Bangalore is fast blooming since three decades and it has hit the global market as the new kid in the block of the big tech-cities of the world.

Interestingly, a major technology township, as the centre of the information technology industry, is in the making in the city. The 1,230 acres spread of land will include convention centre, a five-star hotel, a helipad, international school, railway station, bus terminal, restaurants, shopping complexes and other facilities.

With a population of 4.5 million people and a huge Information Technology industry, Bangalore is sure to outshine many tech-cities of the world. Filtering down to everyday life, cyber joints can be found in every major block of the city.

It is the urban-oriented, technology-based culture that drives the people of this beautiful city, to make it what it is.

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Bangalore, India

Prev     Next

10. New York City

Prev     More
Prev

More

No, we didn't miss out NYC in our list of most tech cities. This is the paradise for the shopaholic, the globetrotter as well as techno geeks.

A city fully connected by Wi-Fi and that too free of cost is too much a netizen may ask for. A cakewalk for the technoholics as their relevant jobs is easily available in NYC. Home to various international IT companies, New York City is a shelter to many IT heads, professionals as well as students.

Information Technology is also the apple of government's eyes and hence the success rate of technology companies in NYC is rocketing fast and even further. Needless to say, Internet browsing and downloading is a matter of few minutes.

Worth mentionable are the techno colleges and universities like New York Institute of Technology and New York City College of Technology, which attract a handsome number of technoholic students to make the world an easier place to stay.

Now that you know about the top 10 tech cities in the world where among these places are you heading?

Check out: The all new Gadgets and Gaming page

Reader invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: New York City

Prev     More