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Vodafone connects Philips Lighting for smart cities

Steve Rogerson
March 17, 2016
 
Dutch company Philips Lighting and telecoms giant Vodafone are working together to help city authorities worldwide implement street lighting systems that will be connected wirelessly, saving energy and making maintenance easier and more efficient.
 
The Philips CityTouch street lighting management system will use Vodafone’s M2M network to connect individual light points. Every connected street lamp will contain a Vodafone M2M SIM. City authorities can then monitor and manage lighting through the CityTouch system while engineers will be able to check performance, identify faults and control the lighting remotely.
 
“Lighting plays a key role in the smart city,” said Vodafone M2M director Erik Brenneis. “Our agreement with Philips will see this technology transforming cities across the world backed by Vodafone's world-leading innovation, technologies and networks.”
 
The joint offering allows city authorities to create an infrastructure that is scalable, and will be able to support other smart city applications in the future.
 
“Just less than 12 per cent of the world’s street lights are LED and less than two per cent are connected,” said Bill Bien, head of strategy and marketing at Philips Lighting. “We are at the start of a new era which will see highly energy efficient connected street lighting become the backbone of most smart cities. Robust, reliable wireless connectivity will help make this happen, linking streetlights with sensors, devices and management systems. By partnering with Vodafone, we can work together to take light beyond illumination, helping to make cities more energy efficient, more liveable and giving people an increased sense of safety.”
 
CityTouch is an end-to-end street lighting management system that integrates connected devices and specialised services to transform cities’ lighting operations. Increasingly, street lights are connected and made intelligent using CityTouch ready street luminaires or by adding a CityTouch connector node to existing street luminaires.
 
Typically, Philips says CityTouch gives an additional 30 per cent energy savings above the typical 40 per cent savings made by using LED lighting, as the connected lights can be dimmed or turned up as required. It also provides reduced maintenance cost as real-time information on the status of each light point is relayed to the operator who can schedule crews to a precise location.
 
Network setup and commissioning happens automatically and when the CityTouch ready luminaire or a connector node is installed it starts transmitting location data and operational information securely over the Vodafone network.