IoT case study: ICE Gateway uses Vodafone connectivity to improve smart city offerings across Europe
German firm ICE Gateway selected Vodafone Group to improve the company’s smart city offerings.
ICE Gateway offers end-to-end products and services, and develops the hardware and software for wireless outdoor infrastructure-as-a-service, including light-emitting diodes, traffic, marketing, security, logistics and applications. The company has patented the ability to have a complete functional computer as the end point gateway for services, combining a multiprocessor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other components.
“We are developing a digital platform for the future and pioneering the concepts of [internet of things] and smart cities in one simple solution,” said ICE Gateway CEO Ramin Mokhtari. “Previously, different components such as LED lights, controllers and batteries would have been separately purchased and then integrated but we have wrapped them into one universal connected gateway product. … We need a secure, reliable and high-bandwidth channel at the heart of this initiative to provide the smart infrastructure on which we rely. The ability to deliver private access point names that can connect with our hosting centers is also critical, because safety of data is highly relevant to decisions in cities.”
ICE Gateway’s wireless infrastructure is designed to optimize outdoor LED street lighting, add value-added services for pedestrians, and sensors and IoT devices in smart cities. The company connects streetlights to the Vodafone network for outdoor lighting, traffic, parking, logistics, real-time marketing, tourism and security.
ICE Gateway is looking to to make European cities smart with its digital infrastructure, which is based on local servers in LED lights, connectivity, hosting and sensors. This digital infrastructure requires reliable connectivity for data and a connectivity partner with the reach to connect thousands of gateways at low cost and in a scalable way.
“We chose Vodafone because of the quality of its platform,” Mokhtari explained. “It also has the large global footprint we need to expand the business.”
Vodafone said it created a private network managed and monitored by proprietary tools. Individual SIM cards connect each ICE Gateway to dedicated servers and Vodafone’s managed connectivity service, sending data relating to security, traffic, lighting and other services while enabling Wi-Fi connectivity for customers.
“One SIM card can manage multiple sensors and because we perform preprocessing locally we can aggregate data before sending it, keeping throughput to a minimum and reducing costs,” Mokhtari said. “The Vodafone solution gives us the plug-and-play capability to easily install new gateways and add them to the network.”
The starting point for the venture was realized at Vodafone’s own head office where 45 light sources were fitted with the ICE Gateway, enabling the company to save 80% of energy costs through smart management. The platform also monitors car parks and visitor flow using ICE ultrasonic sensor. The proof of concept has paved the way for a wider roll out in European cities.
There are a reported 65 million street lights in the European Union and ICE is currently in negotiations with multiple countries, cities and governing bodies with a plan to bring smart connectivity to the streets.