Tuesday 26 May 2020

5G smart poles to light up future cities, says Finnish expert

ESPOO (Finland), September 19, 2019

In smart cities of the future, smart light poles will replace ordinary light poles, laying the foundations for a fast and efficient 5G network, according to VTT, which is part of the team Smart Nuclear Energy Solutions that will be participating at Finland’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, a world class event which opens its doors in October next year.

Smart light poles, equipped with sensors, cameras and displays, also help cities improve safety, air quality and effectivity of transportation, it added.

These 5G smart lighting poles are currently being piloted in the LuxTurrim5G project at the Nokia campus at Karaportti, Espoo, in Finland.

The 5G technology significantly accelerates and enhances data transfer and opens up opportunities for digital services focusing on such issues as safety, energy efficiency, air quality, transportation and housing.

At the same time, the number of mobile network users will multiply, which challenges the network capacity. The solution offered by the LuxTurrim5G project is an increasingly dense base station network, where 5G smart light poles function as both base stations and light poles, constituting the digital backbone of a smart city.

In addition to a 5G base station, a smart light pole can accommodate various kinds of sensors, cameras, displays and other devices. This way, smart light poles can collect up-to-date data on, for example, weather, air quality and traffic, and, using a joint service platform, share it to other applications, which improve the safety of city-dwellers, and enhance air quality and effectivity of transportation.

At the same time, smart light poles provide a fast internet connection to the personal devices of city-dwellers as well as a charging post for electric cars and drones that monitor traffic.

“VTT has been primarily involved in the development of 5G base stations, the service platform and the new service and business models. We have a long experience of high-frequency radio equipment and antenna solutions, and we were given a chance to put it to use when developing base stations in collaboration with Nokia,” says project manager Jussi Varis from VTT.

“Higher frequencies than those used today significantly increase the speed of data transfer, but reduce the signal range, which requires a denser base station network than usual,” he added.

VTT and its partners have also explored the transmission of signals through the walls and windows of buildings, which will become even more difficult with the 5G network.

The studies have shown that the factors reducing penetration include window coatings and certain grades of concrete used in walls in particular, and even plastering and dampness, largely following fluctuations in air humidity.

 “The LuxTurrim5G project has been a very successful co-operation project. During the project, we have learned a lot about the digital city ecosystem that enables making urban operations more efficient and ensuring better and safer living conditions for the residents," said Juha Salmelin from Nokia, who has been leading the LuxTurrim5G ecosystem, in summary of the project.

"We believe that, with this project, we have laid foundations for operations based on which all the partners involved will be able to develop their business in the global markets,” he noted.

The LuxTurrim5G project is being financed by Business Finland, which is spearheading the development of Finland’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai. The construction work on the pavilion began on August 26.

Nokia is also participating at Finland’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Some 43 Finnish partners, representing 100 companies, are expected to showcase their products and services within the pavilion. Other participants include Kone, Granlund Group, Halton, Wärtsilä, Finnish Water Forum, Metso, Collaprime and iLOQ.-TradeArabia News Service


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