Our customer is an urban infrastructure services provider that serves a population of 1.3 million and growing. With growth, it was found there was a need to utilize resources more effectively, while at the same time better manage costs.
The public areas, for example, have 350 dustbins that were managed by human supervision, which inadvertently lead to overflows as frequent monitoring was not possible, giving rise to health risks. More critical, however, was the water distribution system supported by seven water towers and a large, intricate network of valves.
At this city, one can drink water from tap making the water network absolutely critical. The Awareness-Locate-Repair process used for fault management was inefficient and strained the scarce drinkable water.
Furthermore, the street lighting system comprising some 12000 streetlights ran on a timer-based automation system, which was reconfigured every season requiring considerable manpower. Plus, there was no fault detection system in place.
It was found that there were many challenges faced by our customer that could be addressed by connecting all the relevant components and devices of the urban system. However, the biggest challenge was to achieve the Smart City status at a truly affordable cost.
Tata Communications deployed a citywide LoRa network – a low cost, Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN), solely dedicated to the Smart City IoT applications.
Tata Communications deployed a citywide LoRa network – a low cost, Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN), solely dedicated to the Smart City IoT applications, which provided LoRa powered devices and application development assistance to provide an end to end Smart City solution.
Tata Communications has also extended, and is in the process of extending further, the platform offerings via required APIs to enable greater data management and analytics via application. These Integration APIs are provided to middleware applications so that each application can collect and manage the data via push or pull mechanism between application and network server.
The first phase of many pilot projects is currently underway and have created a range of promising results. Some of the key pilot projects include:
– Providing 150 Digital Dust Bins in different locations of the city
– Distributing 500 smart wearable location and performance trackers among the workforce
– Facilitating remote and automated valve monitoring system for the water network
– Introducing remote monitoring and control to 300 street lights
– Managing remotely (old) transformers
The results of the citywide LoRa network we have put in place can be seen across a host of benefits. The digital dustbins, workforce trackers, water network automation and smart street lighting have already had a significant impact on reducing operation costs for the customer, for example.
What’s more, initial results suggest the cost of the electricity bill for street lighting has been cut three-fold. In the water network, automated valves have brought 30% savings on water, plus an additional benefit of improved efficiency. Furthermore, a minimum of 5% productivity gain has been measured in the workforce.
The Tata Communications IoT network comprises an efficient integrated command center that displays all data and analysis of the IoT sensors deployed across the city be that in water, electricity, parking, or street lights, which can be monitored and managed in real-time.
A co-creation model with the customer has enabled a very fertile ground for innovation.