‘We have con­ducted tri­als of LPWAN for con­nected devices, and cut­ting edge IoT ap­pli­ca­tions across Mum­bai, Delhi’

Voice&Data - - COVER STORY -

Voice&Data:

What kind of chal­lenges do you think are there on this road to turn In­dian cities to smart cities and how is your team/ tech­nol­ogy po­si­tioned to tackle it?

Anurag Walia:

The key chal­lenge is to get the busi­ness model right as th­ese de­ploy­ments are cap­i­tal in­ten­sive with long pay­back pe­ri­ods. A pos­si­ble way to ad­dress this is through long term agree­ments and con­ces­sions.

As con­nected devices are the main­stay of smart cities, a crit­i­cal is­sue is the high power con­sump­tion by sen­sors and the re­place­ment of power sources in IoT/M2M tech­nolo­gies im­ple­mented in smart cities.

Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions has suc­cess­fully con­ducted tri­als of a Low Power Wide Area Net­work (LPWAN), based on LoRa tech­nol­ogy for con­nected devices and cut­ting edge In­ter­net of Things (IoT) ap­pli­ca­tions across Mum­bai and Delhi, which can bol­ster the suc­cess­ful de­ploy­ment of IoT ap­pli­ca­tions in In­dia.

We aim to roll out In­dia’s first LoRa net­work across the coun­try, with full cov­er­age start­ing in Mum­bai, Delhi and Ban­ga­lore. LoRa is a wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy ded­i­cated to the In­ter­net of Things (IoT) / Ma­chine to Ma­chine (M2M) com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work.

The new net­work is a su­per low-power, se­cure, bi-di­rec­tional, com­mu­ni­ca­tion so­lu­tion, which any or­ga­ni­za­tion can use to con­nect ob­jects and in­no­va­tive ap­pli­ca­tions sim­ply and en­ergy ef­fi­ciently, overcoming high power con­sump­tion chal­lenges with ex­ist­ing wire­less so­lu­tions.

The first phase tar­gets to cover 400 mil­lion peo­ple across tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 cities.

In ad­di­tion to ul­tra-low power con­sump­tion, which al­lows the bat­tery in the end de­vice to last for more than a decade with­out re­place­ment, Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ LPWAN wire­less net­work has un­prece­dented reach, en­abling com­mu­ni­ca­tions in deep wa­ter and up to 50 me­tres un­der­ground. This makes it suit­able for use in metro sta­tions and car parks.

The sig­nal of the net­work is ex­tremely strong, cut­ting through up to seven walls in­side build­ings.

It is also suit­able for ru­ral ar­eas due to its 15 km range. Com­pared with 4G, WiFi, ZigBee or Blue­tooth so­lu­tions, the LPWAN net­work is also more cost­ef­fec­tive for or­ga­ni­za­tions to de­ploy.

Fur­ther­more, smart cities are built on in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions but co- or­di­na­tion with mul­ti­ple ven­dors for dif­fer­ent ser­vices makes the en­tire process very com­plex for en­ter­prises.

On the back of its lead­ing Tier 1 global fi­bre net­work, the largest whol­ly­owned sub­ma­rine fi­bre net­work in the world, Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fers a plethora of net­work ser­vices to our cus­tomers en­abling them to rely on one sin­gle provider for all their en­tire ICT ser­vice needs.

To­day, over 24% of the world’s In­ter­net routes travel over Tata Com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ net­work and the com­pany is the only Tier-1 provider that is in the top five by routes in five con­ti­nents.

Voice&Data:

What are the ar­eas where govern­ment can do bet­ter with re­spect to this pro­ject?

The govern­ment has re­cently launched the ini­tia­tive of de­vel­op­ing 100 smart cities in In­dia. Con­tin­u­ous sup­port and good gov­er­nance cou­pled with sus­tain­able growth rates is the key to make this pro­ject a suc­cess.

Anurag Walia:

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