The world’s first narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT) connected smart street lighting control system, from Flashnet of Romania, has been deployed as a pilot project on the OTE (Telekom) network in Patras, Greece.
Flashnet’s InteliLIGHT is smart street lighting remote management solution that can use a range of communication protocols. Having identified NB‑IoT as strategically important, InteliLIGHT chose to partner with u‑blox, a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, on the development of its FRE 220 NB range of NB‑IoT compatible luminaire controllers.
The new family of SARA‑N2 series of NB‑IoT (LTE Cat NB1) controllers from u-blox can be embedded into most luminaire designs and enables the individual remote control (on/off, dimming) of LED street lights with electronic ballasts up to 400W. The smart control offered extends to monitoring a wide range of electrical parameters, the ability for Over‑The‑Air (OTA) updates and support for autonomous operation.
The NB‑IoT protocol targets IoT applications that have low bandwidth requirements, and as such it is ideal for smart lighting. As part of the LTE family of standards, NB‑IoT can be supported within existing LTE infrastructure, offering carrier‑grade reliability and security as well as excellent penetration and stability.
u‑blox’s SARA‑N2 series was the world’s first NB‑IoT module and successfully combines ultra low power consumption with an extended temperature range in a small LGA (Land Grid Array) form factor.
“The connected street lighting industry already uses a wide range of communication protocols,” said Lorand Mozes, Flashnet CEO. “We believe the industry is ready to adopt NB‑IoT and thanks to our work with u‑blox we are the first supplier able to offer a robust and fully featured product line‑up.
“By selecting the SARA‑N2 modules from u blox we have been able to bring our FRE 220NB range of NB‑IoT connected luminaires to market in a very short period of time, to complement our existing range and offer our customers even greater choice.”
“Smart cities will be empowered by NB‑IoT,” said Samuele Falcomer, Product Manager Cellular at u‑blox. “Working with InteliLIGHT to help bring the FRE 220NB range of luminaire controllers to market demonstrates that the SARA‑N2 series of modules supports applications across all industries in benefiting from NB‑IoT connectivity.”
Current Flashnet pilot projects are underway worldwide to prove the reliability of NB‑IoT technology with plans to turn them into large scale street lighting control implementations. Considering the market potential and the evolution of connected street lighting, Flashnet is expecting to sell a few hundred thousand controllers within 3‑5 years.
For more information on the Greek NB‑IoT smart city pilot: