u-blox Module Enables the World’s First NB-IoT Based Smart Street Lighting System

u-blox’s SARA-N2 series of Narrowband-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules will be enabling the world’s first NB-IoT connected smart street lighting control system, inteliLIGHT from Flashnet in Romania. A pilot project by u-blox and Flashnet is already deployed on the OTE (Telekom) network in Patras, Greece.

With hundreds of existing projects deployed worldwide, InteliLIGHT’s smart street lighting remote management solution is a proven concept employing a range of communication protocols. Having identified NB-IoT as strategically important, InteliLIGHT chose to partner with u-blox on the development of its FRE‑220‑NB range of NB-IoT compatible luminaire controllers.

The new family of controllers can be embedded into most luminaire designs and enables the individual remote control (on/off, dimming) of LED street lights with electronic ballasts up to 400 W. The smart control offered extends to monitoring a wide range of electrical parameters, the ability for Over The Air (OTA) updates and support for autonomous operation.

The NB-IoT protocol targets IoT applications that have low bandwidth requirements; as such it is ideal for smart lighting. As part of the LTE family of standards, NB-IoT can be supported within existing LTE infrastructure, offering carrier-grade reliability and security, as well as excellent penetration and stability. u-blox’s SARA‑N2 series was the world’s first NB-IoT module and successfully combines ultra low power consumption with an extended temperature range in a small LGA (Land Grid Array) form factor.

Current Flashnet pilot projects are underway worldwide to prove the reliability of NB-IoT technology with plans to turn them into large scale street lighting control implementations. Considering the market potential and the evolution of connected street lighting, Flashnet is expecting to sell a few hundred thousand controllers within 3-5 years.