The Internet of Things (IoT) unlocks new opportunities in every area, not least when collecting information about society’s infrastructure. Together with information from residents, it allows the creation of smarter cities. These new possibilities call for an open and scalable platform well integrated into the business operation. Only then can all data be processed to become a natural part of the city’s technical administration, for cities to be smart and even more intelligent.
Johan Höglund, CEO of Infracontrol, says that technology is developing rapidly and provides new opportunities. Therefore, a strategy is needed to make cities and municipalities not only smart, but also more intelligent:
– As technical possibilities become more remarkable, the challenge of taking care of all the incoming information grows. In addition, many IoT solutions will vary over time. However, many municipalities are well prepared for that development by connecting to Infracontrol Online. With over 120 municipalities, Sweden’s most used platform today for technical administration provides an overall picture of the situation, monitors the correction of faults and collects valuable case management information to create a more sustainable society.
New technology offers new opportunities – and new challenges
A new type of communication network known as LPWAN is being built in many cities and municipalities. LPWAN means Low Power Wide Area Network and is used in regional, national or global networks. The networks are built by different actors using various technologies, but their common denominator is the provision of new and better capabilities of wireless data transfer to a host system. Jonas Bratt is Infracontrol’s IoT solutions specialist:
– LPWAN allows sensors to be small and energy efficient, making it possible to monitor almost anything. This might mean water levels, stolen items, temperatures, open doors or hatches, air or water quality, traffic flows, how well plants are doing and much more.
However, according to Jonas Bratt, the existence of so many different types of networks, communication solutions, suppliers, operators and business models presents a great challenge. It requires cities and municipalities to use several different types of solutions over time. Something which, in turn, requires a general host platform.
An open and general platform is needed
Regardless of what is monitored and how, any information must be taken care of simply and efficiently, something that is easily overlooked when purchasing and installing networks and sensors. But more than new smart new IoT solutions are necessary to make a city smart, according to Jonas Bratt. Someone also needs to take care of the information and ensure it is beneficial.
– With new abilities to measure and detect faults it becomes even more important to keep it all together and draw benefit from the information in the municipality’s operation, says Jonas Bratt. By connecting the sensors to Infracontrol Online, we gain complete control from detecting faults until they are remedied, reset and logged.
He says this is why municipalities must have an independent platform such as Infracontrol Online, which connects all types of sensors regardless of supplier and provides access to infrastructure owners, operating personnel and external contractors.