Smart City

Smart City Sentinel

Experts Discuss How LPWAN is Paving the Way for Smarter City Applications

By Alex Passett

As cities become smarter – where connectivity is both an all-permeating luxury and a professional resource – the need for reliably efficient communication networks is also increasing. In this vein, Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies readily provide cost-effective answers to questions for developers’ queries about smart city applications. With LPWAN support, smart cities can easily install and maintain their connected infrastructure with optimized energy efficiency and, again, reliability.

Better services at lower operating costs. That’s the goal.

Suffice it to say, this is certainly a topic that merits further discussion. And thankfully, further discussion is precisely what has taken place.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of moderating a webinar titled “Developing Energy Efficient and Reliable Smart City Applications Using LPWAN Technologies.” On its panel were three experts in this space:

At a glance, this was a phenomenal session. Given a recent report from Allied Market Research – it stated that the LPWAN market is forecasted to reach a wildly staggering $582 billion globally by 2032, representing a super-high 53.4% CAGR – LPWAN growth will likely stem from smart city implementations like smart mobility management, as well as public safety services, smart utilities and healthcare, smart security, you name it.

What’s driving all this is, as expected, IoT – the Internet of Things. IoT helps drive better allocation of resources, plus cost-saving opportunities and stronger decision-making capabilities overall.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each speaker’s presentation:

  • Buonassisi covered smart city uses cases (e.g. leakage detection, metering, EV charging stations, heating systems, parking, street lighting and more) and how LPWAN will connect more and more of these smart city applications in the years to come; perhaps upwards of 211 million new connections, he mentioned. (Per a study from ABI Research.) Buonassisi also touched on NB-IoT, LTE-M and LoRa’s impacts on smart city connectivity, and other “Massive IoT” touchpoints.
  • Cohen’s portion related to design considerations for these application types; this included energy efficiency, size optimization, longevity, certifications, flexibility, etc. For instance, technology with a compact footprint (size-wise) simplifies the solution’s functionality and reduces its cost. Innovative smart city tech can also reduce power consumption KPIs and optimize energy on a large scale. The iSE (Integrated Security Element) of these applications includes advantages such as encryption and secure storage, certificate integrity, resource partitioning and more.
  • Martinez closed out the main presentation with a case study on the deployment of an LTE-M/NB-IoT module for public street lighting connectivity. She discussed the connected lighting system, cellular light point architecture, outdoor multi-sensor technology, and the licensed benefits for lighting applications in smart cities. She said that these standardized, proven technologies leverage existing mobile infrastructure, and they enable better harmonization of spectrum across regions. (Plus, complexities become reduced, which is virtually always a win.)

There was much more said about the current of LPWAN and how cities can maximize the fruits of their labors, smart applications-wise. For all of the information, the session’s full recording is now available through this link.

Additional archived webinars, for those interested, can be found here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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