u‑blox has announced that its SARA-N2 series of NB‑IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules is enabling the worlds first Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT) connected smart street lighting control system from Flashnet in Romania, inteliLIGHT. A pilot project is already deployed on the OTE (Telekom) network in Patras, Greece.
With hundreds of existing projects deployed worldwide, InteliLIGHT’s smart street lighting remote management solution is a proven concept employing a range of communication protocols. Having identified NB‑IoT as strategically important, InteliLIGHT chose to partner with u‑blox on the development of its FRE‑220‑NB range of NB‑IoT compatible luminaire controllers.
The new family of controllers 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 400 W. 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, 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‑bloxs SARA‑N2 series was the worlds 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,” commented Lorand Mozes, CEO at Flashnet. “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.