Nokia offers CityIQ platform from GE to cities in Canada; DimOnOff and Microsoft team up
Nokia is to offer GE’s CityIQ platform technology to municipalities in Canada to repurpose outdoor street lighting into digital infrastructure, and help with common challenges like parking and traffic management, public safety enhancements, and weather and air quality monitoring.
The CityIQ platform, from GE’s lighting business Current, establishes light poles operate as essential and expansive smart-city infrastructure, for civic authorities to hang multiple integrated sensors off. The Current platform collects raw data and distributes data insights to city operations.
The new deal gives Nokia access to Current’s sensors and software. As commercial partner, Nokia will provide the connectivity in the deals it signs with Canadian cities. Current was this week named among the top 10 vendors for smart-city street lighting by analyst firm Navigant Research.
Current’s is CityIQ platform has already been deployed in several US cities, notably in San Diego, Atlanta and Portland. The San Diego project is covered in detail in an Enterprise IoT Insights report from late last year, called ‘The building blocks of smart city – IoT polices and technologies for urban sustainability’.
The smart city lighting network in San Diego is the largest municipal IoT deployment of its kind in the world, according to its authors.
In the Current smart-city set-up, sensor data is available to application developers and enterprises. Speaking in the report, Austin Ashe, general manager of intelligent cities at Current, compares its potential impact on city operations to the consumer app revolution, forged by a developer ecosystem with open access to data and sensors, and free license to innovate.
“This is a platform that can change as the city evolves,” he said.
San Diego, Atlanta and Portland are early examples of the new Smart Cities 2.0 philosophy, which seeks to go beyond just City Hall efficiency drives. “San Diego unlocks this potential. It solves everything in the 1.0 realm – it makes parking better, traffic better, public safety better. But it also enables cities to be more workable and liveable, by creating jobs and deepening their engagement model,” said Ashe.
At the same time, the Current platform does not offer city-wide integration of data, where legacy and proprietary data streams can be integrated easily into a master platform. “Are all the city’s systems, architectures and endpoints integrated? No. Can the GE solution do that? No one can do that yet,” commented Ashe in the Enterprise IoT Insight report.
“But for a smart city to scale, it needs a platform that can stretch across the city, brings in devices and sensors, and is both highly secure and easily accessible. No one has come close to building that except GE.”
The deal helps Nokia’s expansion into the smart city market, which covers an array of IoT connectivity solutions for cities.
It also complements Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, announced earlier this year to spur development in new smart city initiatives. It encourages community leaders to team up with businesses, academia and civic organizations to design innovative digital solutions that improve residents’ quality of life.
Nokia has recently agreed with Smart City Capital to foster smart city projects in Canada by leveraging a $2 billion CAD dedicated project fund and a pre-vetted ecosystem of partners.
Nokia and Smart City Capital have created a partner ecosystem that includes suppliers of a broad range of technology solutions, standardised and scalable communications network infrastructure and platforms, and architecture and engineering services. This ecosystem is designed to help facilitate the adoption of smart city applications in areas including public safety, smart transit, autonomous vehicle and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and more, it said.
Shawn Sparling, head of enterprise sales for Nokia in Canada, said: “There is tremendous interest in smart city technology throughout Canada. This partnership will offer Canadian municipalities a scalable method to quickly respond to demographic and economic shifts. Responsive, flexible technology is key to creating smarter cities while enabling a safer and more sustainable environment.”
Ashe said: “Nokia’s portfolio of IoT connectivity solutions and successful history working with Canadian cities make this collaboration a great match for Current by GE and our development partners.”
He added: “We believe in the power of combined innovation. Our partnership with Nokia will help unlock new forms of smart city transformation and civic engagement that we can’t even imagine yet.”
Meanwhile, Canadian smart-city lighting vendor DimOnOff, another named in the Navigant leaderboard, has joined Microsoft’s CityNext initiative, allowing its city customers to make use of Microsoft’s Azure platform and partners to help define digital solutions for city services.
DimOnOff said it will extend Microsoft’s software and cloud solution portfolio by “building intelligent solutions that allow cities to become connected societies through modernising its infrastructure, optimising city operations and improving sustainability.”
The partnership also allows DimOnOff to deploy its smart city management system (SCMS) on the Azure cloud platform. Deploying the platform on Azure as part of a hybrid or full SaaS deployment will afford cities greater data security, and operational efficiencies.
Bernard Tetu, chief executive at DimOnOff, said: “As every major city moves towards implementing cloud-based solutions to improve their services, local governments everywhere are looking for innovative and future proof concepts and technologies. DimOnOff has proven time and time again its ability to provide the most robust smart city solutions and IoT platform on the market.”
Jason Hermitage, vice president of public sector at Microsoft in Canada commented: “Microsoft CityNext and DimOnOff will help cities leverage the Azure platform to harness the next generation of innovation and implement strategic, data-driven solutions that will build a vibrant economy and help cities raise their competitiveness.”
DimOnOff was this week named among the top 10 vendors for smart city street lighting.