We've Got It Covered: How Our Network Keeps CityVerve Connected

Manchester CityVerve Skyline

We’ve written before on these pages about our innovative ‘platform of platforms’ and its role in simplifying the data-sharing process between our consortium partners.

A big part of that effort is dependent on the nuts and bolts that help us link up the various sensors and devices that make up the wider CityVerve Internet of Things (IoT) network infrastructure.

Essentially, in order to connect the various dots that make up CityVerve’s real-world presence – represented in our case by bus stops, bikes, buildings, inhalers, artwork and more – there’s a certain amount of back-end tech required.

Given the size and scale of our project, as well as the number and range of sensors being deployed, it’s important that the network infrastructure supporting it is fit for purpose. It’s also vital that we can ensure security across all of our operations.

Covering all bases

CityVerve is based on an ecosystem of connectivity, including Wi-Fi, mobile, and LoRaWAN.

LoRaWAN is a long-range technology designed specifically to service devices with low data rates and long battery life that operate unattended for long periods of time.

It supports lots of different device types, accommodating variations in how much data each one may be collecting and distributing. It also offers end-to-end encryption.

This is significant not only in terms of how it allows us to retrieve data from a broad range of connected things – from a relatively simple air quality sensor, to more complex healthcare equipment – but also in terms of how securely that data can be gathered.

Our infrastructure is available to all the use cases across CityVerve. Despite the challenge of operating within a dense urban environment, we’ll be able to provide coverage across our core demonstrator area, thanks to a strategic partnership enabling optimal antenna placement and the long-range capabilities of the technology deployed.

For certain use cases, such as the ebike locks or the smart bus stops, through to city concierge, we’ll need to extend our area coverage for use cases such as neighbourhood team support.

As with so much of the CityVerve project, we’ll be breaking new ground with this activity – and looking to transfer what we have learned to future smart city projects around the world.

An article from CityVerve written by Nick Chrissos (Cisco)

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