The objectives of Smart Cities is to improve the quality of life, boost the local economy to make the city attractive for businesses and to improve sustainability.
In a smart city, this would be accomplished by introducing new smart city Services making city operations more efficient. This, together with other smart social services, will improve the overall well-being of the citizens. To make city operations more efficient, data about its assets are needed. This particular type of data is often locked away in the city. IoT (Internet of Things) technology is driving smart cities by unlocking this data and making it available for the city Services. Intelligent sensors and devices collect data from city assets or citizens. It is then communicated via a city network to a platform, where it is made available for the city or its service providers to be analyzed and processed. When starting down the Smart Cities path, officials are required to make some tough choices on which solutions to choose. This is not an easy task since there are many technologies and suppliers as well as many business models offered to them. Here are few things worth considering:
- In the longer term, the city would be wise to obtain an infrastructure based on open and standard protocols such as IPv6.
- It should be possible for third-party companies to use the city network and integration platform to provide services to the city.
- Devices or communiction modules should not be locked to specific hardware or manufacturer.
- In order to facilitate deployment when scaling up, a truly de-centralized network is recommended. Which means, no special network devices like repeaters, coordinator or relay nodes. The end devices are the network.
- Streetlights are often widely spread to make an essential infrastructure, so it is recommended that they are part of the smart city infrastructure. Thus, systems where each streetlight is connected to the cloud, via a cellular connection, they are not smart city friendly, since they do not contribute to the coverage of a smart city infrastructure.
- The city should, by default, take ownership of the city network. Optional business models are possible, but they should be discretionary so the city can decide which are most suited.
- The wireless network should be meshed to facilitate installation and create good coverage.
- Battery nodes should be supported. They should be able to route, so they are also contributing to extending the city network. They should not be just leaf nodes alone.
In a smart city, there can easily be several hundreds of thousand devices so it important that device network is truly scalable, robust, and easy to deploy. At the outset, cities often undertake tests with a few hundred or up to one thousand devices. Many systems work well within this range but as number of devices increases the system performance may significantly degrade. It is important to select a system which is based upon a proven and robust RF technology, and that it is indeed designed for an IoT scale-up. Capelon has worked with device communication and advanced meter reading for over 20 years and with smart streetlights for over a decade. Capelon offers a smart city solution-based on a unique and globally proven meshed RF solution designed specifically for large-scale IoT applications.