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The 3 layers of a Smart City

There are three key layers to consider when implementing a Smart City Strategy

1) Dark Fibre

A key component to Smart City deployment is a futureproof networking infrastructure. Dark fibre offers a flexible, cost effective platform which can be scaled in line with bandwidth and coverage requirements. Having this core network infrastructure in place provides the backbone for further technology deployments, such as Wireless and mobile network overlays.

Building an infrastructure on a resilient core fibre network that supports wireless and mobile overlay networks will ensure pervasive IP connectivity is available across the whole City enabling the provision of Smart services and solutions.

For the network owner, Dark Fibre is a valuable asset that encourages inward investment, supports multiple services, provides high speed connectivity and has a low ongoing cost.  Another advantage is that a Dark Fibre network can run as an open access network, enabling other public and private sector parties (such as Health Services, Mobile Telecoms providers) to utilise the fibre infrastructure to enhance the services they provide. For example, Local Schools, Libraries, and Council offices can gain access to one high speed, resilient network.

 2) Wireless Network

Once a resilient Dark Fibre infrastructure is in place, Wireless Overlay Networks can be implemented expanding IP connectivity and the Smart City footprint without having to build out Dark Fibre coverage to all parts of the City. Implementing City wide wireless overlay networks allow for additional services such as Public WiFi, Mobile 4G/5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) is another type of wireless overlay that can be deployed to support Smart Initiatives. LPWAN is a technology that allows long range communications (up to 10km) at a low bit rate (less than 300-50,000 bytes per second) from low powered battery-operated sensors and devices. Some examples where LPWAN can be used is in smart lighting controllers, or city focused asset tracking such as tracking waste bins. Pinacl are deploying LPWAN solutions based on the LoRaWAN standard.

3) IoT Network

The Internet of Things (IoT) consists of everyday objects – physical devices, vehicles, buildings, wearable technology with embedded software, sensors, and network connectivity; IoT provides the opportunity to build intelligent systems, that can draw information from a range of disparate sources, providing the ability to offer innovative solutions or outcomes. For example, an IoT lighting system can intelligently dim the lights based on localised information. Switching a City’s lighting solution over to LED technology can deliver major savings in energy costs, but by making them IoT smart could deliver an additional 20% in energy savings and a further 42% savings in maintenance costs.

How to initiate a Smart City?

To successfully implement a Smart City Strategy, many stakeholders need to be involved. A Smart City will benefit multiple areas, for example, Smart Lighting can substantially reduce the local council energy bill and air quality sensors will help reduce air pollution and improve the public’s health and the environment. For a Smart City to take shape you need to break down the silos within local authorities to drive a clear vision across all stakeholders.

Appointing a “Smart City Champion” can aid strategic planning as they have the ability to obtain information from various stakeholders and then build it into an overall vision that is then shared with all parties. A Smart City Plan can be designed with collaboration across departments and completed with a public consultation to focus on key issues such as transportation issues.

If you would like to know more about Smart Cities or how Pinacl can help you initiate your Smart City Vision  contact us here.

 

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