Expanding its presence further in the Netherlands, Kerlink, a specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced its outdoor LoRaWAN® gateways are being deployed in a novel, smart-city network in Rotterdam based on a multifunctional platform that supports future-proof smart cities.
Called CENT-R, the modular platform can be adapted to continuously meet evolving municipal needs for new applications and services. For example, modules attached to light poles can be switched out depending on the city’s immediate needs for electronic and digital services, including electric-vehicle (EV) charging, converting uninterruptible power to a DC power network, 5G cellular networks, CCTV or traffic cameras, as well as LED-based, smart street lighting and parking management. The light pole housing also contains sensors for 24-7 monitoring of air-quality, sound and weather.
The Rotterdam project exemplifies “smart street lighting”, which Gartner Inc., a global research and advisory firm, highlighted in its “Hype Cycle for Smart City Technologies and Solutions, 2021” report. Released in January, the report introduced the concept of “intelligent street poles”, “an evolution of smart streetlighting” and predicted they would become “valuable real estate”. The firm said, “in comparison to light posts, street poles host a variety of different city- and ecosystem-relevant sensors, IoT and networking devices, cameras, monitors, displays and technologies, and allow a concerted aggregation of location-based data”. These “poles” could also support use cases like “EV-charging, interactive lighting, context-based analytics around parking and management, asset management in vicinity of smart buildings and real estate”, as well as “crowd control” and “public safety”.
Kerlink’s involvement in the unique smart-city project follows its role in the Port of Moerdijk, a Southern Netherlands municipality, that installed a 27-megawatt wind farm in 2020 to supply clean energy to more than 27,000 households in the area. Officials piggybacked a LoRaWAN IoT network, powered by Kerlink Wirnet™ outdoor gateways, on the turbine towers to provide IoT services to the bustling port 120 meters below. The company partnered in that project with Skylab BV, a Dutch supplier of custom sensors and systems for monitoring, tracking and locating objects digitally, and which is part of the CENT-R consortium.
“The Internet of Things use-cases for this CENT-R network are myriad, ranging from city-light management to asset tracking to measuring climate data,” said Remy de Jong Sr., CEO of SkyLab. “With the right sensors connected to this LoRaWAN network through Kerlink gateways, virtually every IoT use case is possible.”
LoRaWAN modules in the CENT-R housing significantly increase IoT coverage throughout the Rotterdam metro area because a single gateway at an ideal location can cover an area of +/- 75 km2, which allows complete coverage throughout the city.
‘Model for Future-Proof Smart-City Infrastructure’
“This innovative and ultra-flexible, smart-city concept that Rotterdam is deploying allows continuous improvement and modification to meet the needs of the city and its citizens, which makes it future proof,” said Stéphane Dejean, Kerlink’s chief marketing officer. “Dozens of Kerlink Wirnet gateways have been installed in strategic locations throughout the metro region, to provide reliable, even redundant, coverage in what is a free, public network for business and residential users. This innovative, multifunctional system can be a model for municipalities that aspire to deploy future-proof and sustainable, smart-city infrastructure.”
“Making this network public and free to use allows everybody to utilize the gateways and, through CENT-R, creates space for innovation and modernization of smart cities,” de Jong said.
CENT-R stands for City/Connective Energy Network Tool – Rotterdam.
Previous Kerlink projects in the Netherlands include a 2019 smart-farming partnership with the Dutch company, Sensoterra, to help farmers make data-driven, land-management decisions and reduce their water consumption. Also that year, Kerlink partnered with MCS, on the joint deployment of a LoRaWAN IoT network at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of the largest international airports in Europe.