City briefs: AT&T cohort Ubicquia bundles CBRS into street-light gear, starting in Vegas
Cities are set to be able to run smart city applications in CBRS spectrum contained on street-lighting poles, after streetlight networking provider Ubicquia announced it is adding CBRS functionality to its Ubimetro-branded small cells.
The addition of support for IoT, LTE, and 5G networks running in the newly available 3.5 GHz CBRS band will help cities to enhance residential broadband services and offer private networking platform for smart city applications.
Cities, mobile providers and corporate/college campuses will be able to solve challenges of scaling access to LTE and 5G more affordably, using street lighting infrastructure, it said.
The CBRS capability will be available on its existing lighting infrastructure in Las Vegas from early 2020, with rollout following across its Ubimetro sites. Las Vegas is working with network operator Ubicquia and AT&T to trial smart sensors on existing lighting infrastructure.
Joerg Lehnich, general manager for RAN at Ubicquia, commented: “Ubimetro small cells using CBRS spectrum provide an innovative solution for building private LTE networks, facilitating IoT and bridging the digital divide. Ubimetro offers cable operators, wireless service providers, utilities and municipalities a simple and cost-effective way to deploy and densify small cell coverage leveraging existing streetlight infrastructure.”
Michael Sherwood, director of information technologies for the city of Las Vegas, said: “We can now build our own network using affordable spectrum enabling IoT for our smart city initiatives such as improved transportation, efficient use of utilities and optical recognition technologies, among others. We’re excited to continue partnering with Ubicquia to make our city safer and more technologically accessible.”
Cirrus Core Networks (CCN) is providing neutral managed LTE core solutions in Las Vegas, consisting of EPC, HSS, IMS/VoLTE, Subscriber Management, and OSS/BSS.
Adam Crane, the company’s chief executive, said: “Ubicquia’s Ubimetro streetlight small cell and CCN’s core-as-a-service will provide a unique platform for network operators to develop and scale private LTE networks.”
Ubimetro small cells – deployed in the US, Europe and Latin America – support 4G and 5G, including millimeter-wave spectrum and now CBRS. They integrate MIMO antennas, a wide range of RF front ends, and multiple backhaul options.
Telensa bundles street-light infra, data, apps into Urban IQ package
Meanwhile, UK-based smart street-lighting firm Telensa has launched an open IoT platform to connect and manage street-light sensors and street-light data. The new platform, called Urban IQ, bundles a multi-purpose central control hub, a data visualisation dashboard, and compatibility with sensors from additional third-party vendors.
It said the Urban IQ package covers power and connectivity for multiple sensors on any light pole, enabling sensors to be mounted anywhere on the light pole with no modification to the luminaires.
Wireless connectivity for sensors near the polem such as those in waste bins or drains, can be managed in a ‘sensor hub’ component, also connecting sensors to the cloud through a combination of the dedicated lighting network and cellular options, such as NB-IoT.
The Urban IQ dashboard is built on Microsoft Power BI. This provides flexibility to customise and integrate data into other systems, said Telensa. The solution is designed to work with any mix of sensors that cities may prefer to use over time.
CA Traffic, Vaisala, Aeroqual, Libelium, Farsite Communications, Intouch, Gill, and Eagl are already using the Urban IQ package to connect devices, including sensors for monitoring air quality, environmental, waste, drainage, road quality and gunshot detection. The system has been in pilot-mode in the US and UK for 12 months, already.
Will Gibson, founder and chief commercial officer of Telensa, said: “We have been working with cities for over a decade to make their streetlights smart, and with the introduction of Urban IQ we are providing a cost effective way to use their smart lighting infrastructure to add multiple smart city sensors. We are excited to be working with cities to provide the flexibility needed to achieve their smart city ambitions.”
Nantes beats Bristol, Espoo as European Capital of Innovation
Elsewhere, the city of Nantes in northwest France has been named as the European Capital of Innovation for 2019. Nantes was recognised for using innovation to improve the lives of citizens and for its open and collaborative governance model, the European Commission said.
The title comes with a €1 million cash prize, funded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme. Antwerp in Belgium, Bristol in the UK, Espoo in Finland, Glasgow in the UK, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands were runners-up; each received €100,000 to promote and scale up their smart-city innovations.
The award is open to cities with over 100,000 inhabitants from EU member states. Twenty-eight cities from 16 countries applied. Previous winners include Barcelona (2014), Amsterdam (2016), Paris (2017) and Athens (2018). Nantes is the fifth city to win the award, and the second non-capital city after Barcelona.
Nantes was praised for certain initiatives, including: a city lab for innovators to test solutions using physical and digital infrastructure; a ‘creative factory’ for creative and cultural industries; an ‘eco-innovation factory’ for sustainability projects; a ‘tech capital’ programme to foster startups and scaleups; a public-private networking group for social innovation; as well as extensive public engagement around energy transition and regeneration of public competition.
Carlos Moedas, EU commissioner for research, science and innovation, said: “European cities are showing the world how to combine innovation and sustainability. Nantes stands out as a great example of how a city can engage its citizens in addressing challenges such as energy efficiency, ageing population, digital transformation, and social inclusion. This is how innovation works for the benefit of citizens.”
Johanna Rolland, mayor of Nantes and president of Nantes Métropole, said: “Innovation ‘by and for all’ is at the heart of our policies. For me, this is recognition of the quality of our citizen dialogue and the dynamism of our metropolitan innovation ecosystem.”