The first pre-commercial version of the smart pole is ready
The collaboration within the Nokia-driven LuxTurrim5G ecosystem has progressed nicely despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The extensive company consortium developing a digital backbone for the Smart City has now reached an important milestone when its key element, 5G smart pole, has progressed from development stage into pre-commercial product. It is in fact a product family of smart poles, which can meet the various needs of cities. The modular structure allows for poles in different sizes, integration of various devices and implementation of required digital services based on usage and surrounding area. The ecosystem partners are currently working on finalising the collaboration model to bring the product to markets.
The LuxTurrim5G project has made good progress from the research phase towards practical applications. The smart pole concept integrating various equipment such as weather, air quality sensors, video cameras, monitors, radar, lidar and positioning devices and an electric vehicle charging unit, has been systematically developed and piloted in an extensive joint project between companies and research institutes. Now the major development work has been completed and the result is a versatile family of smart pole products, which enables the digital backbone for smart city. The smart poles utilising the new “second generation” 5G technology, which refers to millimeter-wave frequencies, provide not only super-fast, low-latency 5G connections, but also an extensive network of sensors for the users. This, in turn, enables gathering and utilization of diverse data to develop new services for the needs of the city, its citizens and businesses.
A unique smart city pilot environment built on Nokia campus in Espoo, which includes e.g. 19 smart poles, two smart and safe bus stops and a total of more than 250 interconnected IoT devices, has played a key role in the development and piloting of the smart poles, digital infrastructure and data-driven services.
Smart pole family in key role to turn cities smart and sustainable
The LuxTurrim5G smart pole concept has been developed to tackle the future needs of cities faced with the challenges of sustainable development and digitalisation. It is not really about a light pole, but a whole new element to build the key infrastructure of a smart city – its digital backbone. The same pole will not only have a 5G base station integrated into it, but it will also have video cameras, radars, lidars, and sensors needed for navigation, weather, temperature, air quality or, for example, carbon dioxide measurements. This way, readiness for a variety of services is being created. Intelligent lighting will also be one element, though not the main issue as in traditional light poles.
Different use environments require different smart poles. A key design principle for the LuxTurrim5G smart pole has been its modular structure. It allows for the smooth integration of poles of many sizes for different usage, such as for wide or narrow streets, parks, market squares or other open spaces. Tehomet Oy and Orbis Oy have had the main responsibility in the design and manufacture of pilot smart poles. Building, maintenance, and servicing the smart pole network offers its own set of responsibilities, which has been taken care of by Destia Oy.
“The modular design developed in the project allows for huge variations to build different assemblies according to site requirements. The design supports external devices for retrofitting as well as installing new modules along with the changing needs. It will be possible to vary the aesthetic features by changing the colours or by using decorative parts, laser-cut or modules with background lighting. The variety of options makes this product family a unique solution for the global market,” says Sami Huuskonen, Design Manager at Tehomet Oy. He will be the newly appointed Product Manager for intelligent solutions in the parent company Valmont Industries in the EMEA region.
The integration of several devices into a well-functioning entity has been an important development focus in the manufacturing of smart poles. Orbis Oy, which has been in charge of cabling, integration and assembly of smart poles, has taken modularity as a challenge and as an opportunity.
“We have succeeded in implementing a compact cabling solution inside the smart pole, which enables the integrated devices to be connected into the same data transmission and power supply entity. The modularity of the solution, in turn, ensures that devices can be flexibly added and replaced on the smart pole throughout its life cycle. This is a significant competitive advantage,” says Jani Linna-Aro, CEO of Orbis Oy.
Safety and situational awareness as examples of services using data
Central in the service development is the utilization of various data flows for real needs. Smart poles, drones and autonomous vehicles collect for example weather, air quality and environmental data, location data and images and streams by cameras. This data can be combined with other data sources to create a wide range of targeted services, related to safety, full situational awareness or low-emission traffic and logistics to mention a few examples.
“Safety and security is one of the most important elements dictating the development of smart cities. The solutions developed by Teleste aim to improve the safety of citizens, increase the sense of safety and support the work of the authorities. Teleste has been one of the key players in this project as a developer of intelligent services for public safety, and our Connected Zone® concept plays an important role for the LuxTurrim5G ecosystem. We have had the pleasure of cooperating with Nokia and integrating our concept into the offering of the LuxTurrim5G ecosystem,” says Dr. Jani Väre from Teleste.
By gathering data on people and vehicles moving in the area, smart poles enable better and more personalised services, but data collection also requires that legal requirements, for example the use and processing of personal data are very carefully considered. The data obtained through cameras are, of course, the subject of special attention in this case. The LuxTurrim5G project has paid a lot of attention to data protection issues. Cooperation between companies, research institutes and authorities has created a good basic understanding of the requirements and shared practices for correct handling of data protection matters at different stages. This provides a solid foundation for the development of data-driven businesses and, for its part, a competitive advantage in this area.
World Expo as a gateway towards a growing business
The LuxTurrim5G ecosystem has ignited a lot of interest both in Finland and around the world. Now that the development of the modular smart pole, related elements and several services has been completed, the consortium is aiming for more extensive pilots in real urban environments. Readiness for smart pole deliveries has been fine-tuned not only with technical development in mind, but also various business models are being prepared. Tehomet, Orbis and Destia are currently working on a shared model for bringing the product to the market. An important gateway to the global market is the Expo 2020 Dubai (postponed World expo due COVID-19) opening in October this year. In the event, the LuxTurrim5G offering and two functional smart poles will be showcased by Nokia and other companies.
“Our development work will of course continue. The second part of the ecosystem project will continue till the end of this year, focusing on the development of the data platform and marketplace and piloting of new services. Smart pole development will be continued as needed in connection with pilot projects,” says Project Manager Pekka Wainio from Nokia Bell Labs.
In Espoo, planning of the Kera area is going forward and there are also new smart city plans for the Otaniemi-Keilaniemi area which will offer new piloting opportunities for smart pole technologies. The City of Espoo together with VTT, Aalto University and companies, intend to build there the world’s most advanced telecommunications and data infrastructure that enables new solutions for intelligent and low-emission transport and circular economy. The global market for smart city solutions is currently worth 400 billion euros and is predicted to grow to 1,000 billion euros by 2025.
More info: Juha Salmelin, Nokia, Ecosystem leader
juha.salmelin(at)nokia.com, +358 50 5223508
Markku Heino, Spinverse, Ecosystem coordinator
markku.heino(at)spinverse.com, +358 40 7191221
Pekka Wainio, Nokia Bell Labs, +358 40 58111211
Jani Linna-Aro, Orbis Oy, +358 40 3501866
Sami Huuskonen, Tehomet Oy, +358 44 7465583
Background info: www.luxturrim5g.com
White paper, 25.5.2020
LuxTurrim5G ecosystem includes the following partners:
Nokia Bell Labs, Nokia, Premix, Teleste, Vaisala, Indagon, Rumble Tools, Orbis, Tehomet, Destia, Sitowise, Caruna, A-Insinöörit (AINS Group), Link Design & Development, Vediafi, Agora Networks, Sensible 4, City of Espoo, Finnish Transport and Communications Agengy Traficom, VTT, Aalto University, Tampere University, University of Helsinki and Spinverse as ecosystem leader.
The project is funded by the participating companies and Business Finland.
The results of the project are presented on 15 June 2021 in a webinar Smart infrastructure and services for sustainable cities