On Thursday, July 11, the Chicago Connectory welcomed member Sigfox USA as they hosted their event, “0G applications for Building Smart & Connected Cities”, in the space.
During the session, Sigfox IoT Business Development Manager, Shawna Witek discussed how 0G technology compares to 5G and provided examples of it being used in smart city applications around the globe.
Sigfox is the world’s leading low-power, wide-area network built for connecting IoT technology. It differentiates itself by being a lower power, lower cost, and longer range network. Cost savings, reduced energy consumption and global scalability are huge factors that come into play with many IoT solutions.
5G networks are important for many smart city topics such as autonomous driving or first responder applications. However, 0G networks like Sigfox are critical for smart city applications in particular. These networks are built to last and are the most reliable and affordable networks to transmit small data across cities. Additionally, 0G offers cities a great fall back for other broadband networks and security systems.
After the providing an overview of the differences between 0G and 5G networks, Shawna provided numerous Smart City examples that are using the Sigfox 0G network.
1. Usage Based Insurance:
Insurance companies are now utilizing IoT technology and 0G networks to monitor connected objects, such as e-scooters, in cities. Scooter operators can now install a sensor on their scooters to track real-time information when a user starts and stops a trip. This data is then transmitted to the cloud where it can be stored and utilized if the need arises to process and approve a claim. This application ensures the company is only paying for insurance when the asset is being used and has reduced costs from $10 to a few cents per transaction.
2. Waste Management Collection
Utilizing sensors and a 0G network, cities have implemented a complete solution that optimizes the operation and maintenance cost of waste collection in residential, commercial and industrial environments. The solution utilizes data from garbage bin sensors to optimize truck routes by eliminating unnecessary stops. Now, trucks only stop at bins that are actually confirmed as full. This solution has also help detect vandalism in the area and has resulted in a 25% cost reduction for the city.
3. Air Quality Monitoring
The city of Leon, France saw a large increase in its population and is now the second largest community in the country. Due to this increase, city officials decided to start monitoring the air quality. They utilize 0G and sensor nodes placed on trains and buses to collect air quality information throughout the city and can be alerted if a situation becomes critical.
4. Sewage Monitoring
Cities have many manual tasks that must be executed to ensure safety and quality in the area. However, due to the manual nature of these tasks, they can result in high costs and a heavy burden. One such task is sewage monitoring. Normal networks are unable to reach underground to track water levels and other relevant information. However, using sensors and the long range, low powered 0G network, cities are now able to place sensors underground in sewers to monitor the water. This completely eliminates manual testing and reduces city costs.
5. Smart Metering
Another manual task that is managed by cities is checking the water meter usage for residential and commercial buildings. A 0G application that implements sensors in residential buildings and businesses now allows cities to remotely monitor water consumption and to provide insights as to when a meter needs to be serviced or has failed.
Not only did this solution reduce costs by eliminating the traditional manual checks, but it also discovered that users were underpaying for their water by 15-20% around the city.
6. Infrastructure Strain Monitoring
Another problem faced by cities are infrastructure improvement costs. For example, bridges often need to be updated to meet safety requirements, however, it is very costly. Some cities started using drone detection to monitor and detect areas of bridges that needed to be fixed. However, this solution resulted in high costs and was limited to visual capabilities. Now, using Sigfox 0G technology and sensor kits placed on the bridges, cities are able to sense any structural changes in the bridges that need to be addressed.
7. Connected Street Sign
Something as simple as a connected street sign can help improve safety and security in cities. Connected street signs use sensors and 0G to determine when a school is in session or pedestrians are a walk way and then lights up and adjusts the speed to alert passing vehicles.
8. Manhole Monitoring
In conjunction with smart metering and sewage monitoring, manhole monitoring is another manual task taken on by cities. Manhole covers are manually checked and sealed when there are parades, marathons or other events in an area to ensure there is no activity underground during those times. Cities are now implementing an anti-tamper device that will alert a city operating center if a manhole cover is tampered with. Again, this technology is made possible by using a low battery pull and long range 0G network underground.
As seen through these examples, IoT applications using 0G networks are improving cities around the world through cost reduction, resiliency, and enhanced services and security.