Challenge / Goal
For the Finnish city of Tampere, data is at the heart of its strategy on how it aims to achieve its Smart City goals. A new development program for 2022-2025 has been set up as the next step in the strategy, titled "Data Driven City for Citizens”. Its ambition is to build a "Human Centric City" where services provided to citizens are in real-time and and predictive in nature, based on data analytics. To build on this vision, Tampere is using and testing diverse new technologies to advance their agenda, aiming to improve digital services and provide a highly connected environment. The ultimate objective of the City is to use technological breakthroughs to create a sustainable and future-proof city.
Deploying the next generation of city services will require the use, transfer and sharing of large amounts of data which, in turn, necessitates high-quality infrastructure solutions. The networks must be fast, secure and adaptable to the different needs of its users, whether they be citizens or different departments within public services. The conventional wisdom suggest that the ‘gold standard’ of transferring data is through using fiber, given its reliability, low latency, and almost unlimited bandwidth. The City of Tampere has already built a fiber network throughout the city.
However, although fiber may be available at key locations in the city, it is often unavailable at the exact location where it is needed. To build a network with fiber-like connection available every 30-50 meters is exorbitantly expensive, environmentally unfriendly and technically inefficient.
To extend the reach of the abundant fiber underground, a flexible ‘’wireless mesh network’’ is the perfect solution, opening up new opportunities for cities to achieve their strategic objectives. Littering the city with wireless routers all over is impractical, expensive and destroys the city's aesthetic character.
The lighting grid offered the opportunity needed for seamless connectivity deployment: proximity, granularity, scale, power and elevation. Unlike building facades, the lighting grid has few owners which makes permitting and contracting a straightforward process. The City of Tampere introduced a groundbreaking solution by Signify and embedded a wireless gigabit network in the lighting fixtures, creating a neutral host network that offers the full granularity of the lighting grid, as opposed to the more limited fiber point-of-presence. By upgrading the street light infrastructure with the BrightSites solution, Tampere and Signify accelerated the deployment of their Smart City agenda with multiple use cases on a single platform. These range from advancing medical response times to enhancing safety and security of private 5G networks for public services. The BrightSites solution is also open for sharing with telecommunications operators in order to densify the public 5G networks. It enables the increase of network reach and caters for the growing demand of IoT-led initiatives that optimize city operations and improve the quality of life for citizens.
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