NarrowBand IoT lights up the world

The right amount of light when and where needed: That’s what Flashnet, a Romanian start-up, offers with its smart lighting solution. Their new approach is using the emerging network technology NarrowBand IoT to do so even better and more cost-effective. At Deutsche Telekom’s NB-IoT Prototyping Hub they got the support they needed to adapt their product to it.

The market for Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks has a new player: NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT). Since the successful standardization in the summer of 2016, the new networking technology is about to revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT). Especially young companies can profit from these emerging opportunities; many start-ups are already developing IoT applications based on NB-IoT.

To encourage this trend and be at the forefront of it, Deutsche Telekom initiated the NB-IoT Prototyping Hub. Here – together with selected startups, experts, and interested companies – are products being brought to market maturity as fast as possible. In the initiative coordinated by the hub:raum sites in Berlin and Krakow the NB-IoT developer community receives an NB-IoT starter package along with valuable support and contacts with potential customers. One participant of the NB-IoT Prototyping Hub: Flashnet. “We are making sure to only work with the best technologies and to engage in partnerships with the best companies. That’s why we choose to take part in Telekom’s initiative and adapt our product for NB-IoT,” says Lorand Mozes, technical visionary and founder of Flashnet.

Experienced in IoT and M2M

“We have a long-standing tradition in producing IoT applications for the energy sector that use machine to machine (M2M) communications,” adds the CEO. Founded in 2005, he and his team of approximately 50 employees aim to become leading in intelligent energy management systems and to operate around the globe. Their mission: to design, develop and implement versatile hardware and software solutions that result in intelligent energy management systems.

Smart lighting with inteliLIGHT

The solution they are now adapting to the NB-IoT network – inteliLIGHT® – helps municipalities as well as highway authorities or operators of large shopping centers to increase the energy efficiency and to optimize the maintenance of their street lighting network. In-depth grid management gives an accurate real-time feedback of any change occurring along the grid, reduces energy loss and offers advanced maintenance optimization tools. It adapts to the existing street lighting infrastructure and uses an array of sensors and add-ons to suit the particular needs of every area.

inteliLIGHT devices ensure remote management of every lamp in the street lighting grid and offer detailed electrical parameters as well as live error reporting. And, especially important to cities with not much IT know-how, inteliLIGHT is a plug-and-play turnkey solution, supported by a proven and simple implementation process.

Future orientated towards a true smart city

Using open protocols, scalable and adaptable to third-party components, inteliLIGHT integrates with present and future city systems. “With our product, you can do even more than just make your street lighting smart,” describes Lorand. “We are transforming the lighting grid into a multi-purpose network that has the ability to make the city even more digital.” It becomes a nervous system that – with devices controlled and sensors connected throughout the city – is laying the foundation for any future smart city applications. “Municipalities gain complete overview and control of their assets. Before, it was little more than a black hole. Now, they can monitor and manage the energy consumption and plan maintenance works most efficiently,” explains Lorand.

NarrowBand IoT as perfect fit

NB-IoT is the first LPWA network to run on a licensed spectrum. “This is one of the reasons why NarrowBand IoT is so attractive for our solution”, Flashnet’s CEO says. Compared to technologies in the unlicensed spectrum, NB-IoT is able to substantially reduce the issue of interference and guarantee a high Quality of Service (QoS). With that, Flashnet can warrant its customer's specific Service Level Agreements (SLAs). “Also, NB-IoT enables a huge number of networked objects per radio cell – about 50,000 devices. Combined with the relatively low price for modules and infrastructure, that makes it very interesting for smart city application like ours,” outlines Lorand. At this year’s Mobile World Congress at the Deutsche Telekom booth, visitors could see for themselves how well inteliLIGHT works with NB-IoT.

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