As often happens, this column is ignoring the real problem in favor of what the author is already pushing.
There are tons of networks out there-- LoRa, Sigfox, Cat-M1, WirelessHART, LTE, metro WiFi, etc. And no reason why there needs to be some sort of magic unified infrastructure to share it among applications.This is just not a primary problem, and duplication isn't that big a issue.
What's really missing are systems to solve city problems, built around city needs and city employee and citizen workflows, and built by domain experts. Cities have to be willing to pay, and have to streamline their procurement and installation processes enough to make it not be a disaster for providers. Everything else is just people flogging products, tools and pre-identified "problems" and pretending like it's what cities need.