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