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7 October 2015

Streets ahead. BT smart city network trial on the road to success


BT is set to trial new technology that uses connected city streetlights to create powerful communications networks.

The company has teamed up with Norwich-based lighting and communications experts Enlight to look at how street lighting control systems can provide efficient and reliable connectivity for emerging ‘smart city’ applications such as smart parking and smart environmental services.

The project, known as Sustainable Outdoor Lighting and Sensory Urban Network (SOLSUN) has already attracted interest from Europe. Both the City of Budapest government and Budapest University are now collaborating closely with the two UK partners.

Project leader Paul Putland, principal research consultant, BT Technology, Service & Operations, is excited by the potential of the new smart networks. He explains:

Intelligent use

“We’ve seen how intelligent networks installed on lampposts can support smart lighting projects, but what if that network could then be re-used to run other smart applications and services?”

Says Paul: “That’s the thinking behind SOLSUN. It’s all about demonstrating how an intelligent city network can be created in a cost-effective and sustainable way. With this project we’re aiming to show how smart technology can help city councils run better services for its citizens, save energy and reduce carbon.”

The SOLSUN trial is scheduled to take place in Milton Keynes in January 2016 before a full commercial deployment in Budapest in the summer of next year.