Smart City: an interoperable wireless mesh network or vertical silo apps ?

By 12 July 2018News

Smart City consultants all agree on this: there is more than one type of connected device to be implemented in Cities to make them more efficient, to measure and save energy, to control and improve street lighting, to identify and fix security problems, to monitor and ease mobility and parking, to better organize waste collection, to control water, gas and electrical networks, and to enhance public safety.

Each of these use cases is complex, has its own experts and is often considered an isolated Smart City application: smart energy, smart lighting, smart waste, smart parking, and more. Each device supplier usually offers its own hardware, its own  communication network and infrastructure (often a proprietary one), its own software and APIs.

Cost split for hardware, network and software can move from 70/20/10 for a Smart Lighting solution to 20/20/60 for a Smart Waste one. In any case, when adding an additional service, another wireless mesh network with gateways and routers would need to be deployed, with all related installation, maintenance and management costs. Even if most Cities start with an end-to-end solution for a pilot site, they often realize how complex, expensive and risky it is to rely on one proprietary wireless network for each urban application.

Reduce costs by sharing wireless network is a good option, but…

One way to drastically cut costs is obviously to have a single wireless network hosting multiple Smart City applications. This would also reduce the number of possible security holes and maximize the efficiency of teams and tools to have that network monitored, secured, efficient and scalable.

But supporting several Smart City applications on a single wireless infrastructure is not that simple. It requires critical features such as fully isolated data channels with priority management, high bandwidth to enable higher data flows, a high level of security and the ability for any device supplier to connect their device on this network.

Paradox Engineering’s solution is PE Smart Urban Network. Based on standards, it provides a revolutionary and interoperable wireless network platform to connect and manage any kind of smart device: street lights, parking sensors, waste bins, energy meters, water meters, traffic surveillance cameras, Wi-Fi hot spots, and more. PE Smart Urban Network leverages IEEE 802.15.4g and 6LoWPAN to provide more than 100 kilobits per second, unlike any other LPWAN network that is limited to few hundreds of bytes per second, making it suitable for only one usage or application requiring only few data point per day.

PE Smart Urban Network, a way to improve Smart City services and save money

PE Smart Urban Network is not a proprietary wireless network, but a standard-based network platform that any device supplier can leverage to develop its own smart solution. It stands out as the first multi-band Smart City network, supporting both Wireless IoT sensor-based services and Wireless Highspeed IoT applications.

Let’s give examples: PE Smart Lighting Nodes connect to PE Smart Urban Network to provide street light control and dynamic lighting, adjusting light levels to vehicle transit and traffic volumes. Tinynode sensors connect to PE Smart Urban Network to detect vehicle presence and parking duration in a car park. Traffic surveillance cameras connect to PE Smart Urban Network to monitor traffic flows and allow intervention of City control center if needed.

Unlike slow wireless networks (e.g. weightless, UNB, sigfox, LoRa) or proprietary mesh technologies, PE Smart Urban Network is a bidirectional, long-range Smart City wireless platform supporting many types of devices, thus providing a natively interoperable mesh network for smarter urban environments.

With technologies such as Paradox Engineering’s, Chief Innovation Officers and Smart City Officers find a great business case to make internal City department talk to each other and share a common network technology, for their own benefits and for the interest of the City. Listen to this from the voice of a customer.

Where should a City start from? What is the best application to deploy first? How to ensure network coverage for the next smart application? Can we leverage the streetlight network to kick-off a wireless network canopy?

Let’s talk about the various applications in your City and how our technologies can help you save money and improve urban services.

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