Data from mobile phone operators: A tool for smarter cities?

John Steenbruggen*, Emmanouil Tranos, Peter Nijkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract The use of mobile phone data provides new spatio-temporal tools for improving urban planning, and for reducing inefficiencies in present-day urban systems. Data from mobile phones, originally intended as a communication tool, are increasingly used as innovative tools in geography and social sciences research. Empirical studies on complex city systems from human-centred and urban dynamics perspectives provide new insights to develop promising applications for supporting smart city initiatives. This paper provides a comprehensive review and a typology of spatial studies on mobile phone data, and highlights the applicability of such digital data to develop innovative applications for enhanced urban management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1398
Pages (from-to)335-346
Number of pages12
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Mobile phone data
  • Smart cities
  • Urban management


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