UAE set for smart streetlighting

Technology provider du is to roll out the first phase of an Internet of Things platform that will bring smart streetlighting, waste management and parking to Dubai and the wider UAE.

du has successfully tested its 'sensor-friendly network'  to turn Dubai’s smart city dream into a reality. The new network will be a key component of the city, enabling smarter management of a vast array of resources such as streetlighting, waste management and parking.

"The telecom firm will roll out the first phase of revolutionary IoT network in Dubai by the first quarter of 2016 and complete the countrywide project by year-end," Carlos Domingo, senior executive officer, New Businesses and Innovation, du, told Khaleej Times.

Domingo said existing networks are not designed to transmit data between millions of sensors across large areas. He said the IoT requires a new type of low power consumption long-range network, which prolongs battery life of sensors, making it both cost and energy efficient.

"One of the biggest aspects of the smart city is the IoT. This requires a new breed of network that essentially makes the city smart by connecting sensors placed in everyday objects. Thanks to du, this capability now exists in the UAE and is a first in the Middle East," said Domingo.

According to a report from Monitor Deloitte, the number and value of smart cities will expand substantially across the globe led by European, North American and East Asian cities.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Dubai is leading the way by announcing a Smart Dubai initiative in March 2014 with the aim of becoming the smartest city in the world by 2017. Monitor Deloitte predicts that the smart cities market will increase significantly over the next five years anywhere from over $400 billion to over $1.5 trillion by 2020.

"This is a defining moment in the UAE's smart city transformation and the company is looking into many other aspects of smart city with this new revolutionary development,” said Domingo. “We need millions of sensors to relay information over long distances to make a smart city - existing networks cannot support this. We now have a more suitable and sustainable network that works over large areas and uses less power to prolong the life of sensors." 

Picture: Gordon