Vodafone’s M2M network might soon be used to manage some of the UK’s street lights as part of Philips’ smart street light management system. The Dutch electrical giant’s system is to be marketed to local authorities as a way of saving money by increasing efficiency in use and maintenance.
Each street lamp will contain a SIM card that will connect it to the Vodafone network. This, in turn, will allow city authorities to carefully monitor and manage street lights with the help of a central platform. Using the Vodafone network, authorities will be able to control lighting based on the time of day, pinpoint any faults, check performance of the lighting and ensure that maintenance crews rectify identified faults.
“Just less than 12 percent of the world’s street lights are LED and less than 2 percent are connected,” said Bill Bien, Head of Strategy and Marketing, Philips Lighting. Mr Bien went on to say the world is standing at the start of a new era, where highly energy efficient and connected street lighting will become the norm in a majority of smart cities.
Mr Bien also said that reliable and robust wireless connectivity is the need of the hour along with connecting street lights to devices, sensors and management systems. “By partnering with Vodafone, we can work together to take light beyond illumination, helping to make cities more energy efficient, safer and ultimately more liveable,” added Mr Bien.
Vodafone has allocated many resources to the Internet of Things, and the company is a strong advocate of power efficient narrowband-Internet of Things (Nb-IoT). Many mobile operators believe Nb-IoT will allow them to stay ahead of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and SIGFOX, which are competing with cellular technology to connect gadgets and devices to the IoT.