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Wi-SUN: The chosen technology connecting the world’s smartest cities

Wi-SUN: The chosen technology connecting the world’s smartest cities

Winston Lazar, Product Marketing Program Manager, Itron

Cities worldwide are ramping up deployment of smart technologies that accelerate progress towards sustainability goals, while empowering them with a toolkit for digital transformation. Offering a range of proven benefits, including energy savings, reduced maintenance cost, and enhanced safety, connected streetlights provide an ideal starting point for any smart city initiative.

While there are a variety of technologies to consider, two of the top 10 cities implementing connected streetlights, Miami (500,000) and Paris (280,000), have chosen Wi-SUN networks as the foundation for their digital transformation initiatives, according to a new Connected Streetlights Market Report from IoT Analytics*: https://iot-analytics.com/top-10-cities-implementing-connected-streetlights/

Here are five reasons why:

Scaling to millions of devices

Public lighting is among the most ubiquitous assets for any city. Large cities often manage hundreds of thousands of light points. With existing deployments of millions of interoperable devices, Wi-SUN networks include some of the world’s largest industrial IoT networks. In fact, since Wi-SUN networks support peer-to-peer communications between endpoints, they actually become more resilient as new devices are deployed. Florida’s street lighting network of more than 500k streetlights, for example, is reinforced by an existing mesh network canopy that encompasses more than 5m connected devices.

Protecting the network with enterprise-grade security

As new connected devices proliferate throughout our critical infrastructure systems, protecting the network with the most stringent security standards is essential. Enterprise-grade security is the gold standard among IoT networks. Wi-SUN-based networks have achieved this level of security, with the highest levels of protection at each layer of the network.

Delivering superior communication performance – in almost any environment

Whether it is from changing landscapes or new construction, urban network environments will evolve over time. This can be challenging for fixed networks, which often experience coverage gaps. Wi-SUN networks are engineered to evolve in these changing environments. Peer-to-peer communication provides devices with multiple redundant connection paths back to the network gateways, enabling devices to automatically re-route through their nearest neighbors in the event of an outage. This self-healing capability makes it possible for Wi-SUN networks to deliver reliable connectivity in some of the most challenging service areas on the planet, including the dense urban landscapes of New York and mountainous topographies like Hawaii.

Ensuring solution longevity

Delivering intelligent solutions is about creating lasting value, which is why a smart city should choose a network solution designed to last for decades. With over-the-air firmware upgrades, devices will always be able to support the most advanced features. Remote upgrades are essential for delivering security updates in the event that a firmware patch is needed. Wi-SUN networks are also designed to enable seamless interoperability across multiple generations of network technology, while reducing the total cost of ownership.

Enabling endless possibilities with open standards

Cities are living ecosystems with diverse needs. Delivering a truly “smart” city will require intelligent devices that support a wide range of operational issues. Deploying single-purpose networks would require redundant network infrastructure and support systems, which can be costly and complicated to manage. Wi-SUN networks utilize widely adopted industry standards to enable an open ecosystem of interoperable solutions. For cities, this gives them the flexibility to start with their top priority use cases and then connect new devices and sensors as their needs change.

As the deployment of smart technologies continues apace, leading cities like Miami and Paris have set the benchmark for demonstrating a truly “smart” approach. With connected streetlights as the foundation, these cities are already unlocking efficiencies while laying the groundwork for future applications that improve and enhance citizen lives and wellbeing.

* The Connected Streetlights 2018-2023 Market Report is 96- page report, which examines worldwide deployment, revenue and shipment of connected streetlights, with segmentation analysis by region, technology, and product. Additionally, the report examines the market landscape, including a market share analysis, and identifies the 111 smartest cities in terms of deployment of connected streetlights by region and country.