By BOTS team – May 7, 2021 @ 1:39pm
PUTRAJAYA: Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) has announced a collaboration agreement with Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider Vectolabs Technologies Sdn Bhd (Vectolabs) to set up the country’s first municipal-operated IoT infrastructure using LoRa (long range) technology in Putrajaya to boost Putrajaya Smart City Blueprint initiatives.
Funded by the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), the project will be implemented in partnership with PPj, Vectolabs and the Wireless and Photonics Networks Research Centre (WiPNET) of Universiti Putra Malaysia within the Single Site Innovation Sandbox category. The collaboration’s first project will see new smart street lightings setup in Presint 15, Putrajaya.
Perbadanan Putrajaya via the Putrajaya Smart City Blueprint is heading towards creating a well-connected city for its IoT infrastructure. Smart cities are able to enhance delivery of services, such as reducing down time of street lighting with automatic failure detection, alleviating congestion by directing traffic where parking is available, or keep citizens informed of water and air quality. Operating costs can also be reduced by operating efficiently when city services can be delivered on a relatively small budget.
Perbadanan Putrajaya’s president, Datuk Muhammad Azmi Mohd Zain said that they are only at the early stages of the collaboration and are looking forward to see more local talents to be part of the initiative.MORE NEWS
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“We are still only at the early stages of IoT development. As this technology and its adoption advances further, there will be more creativity with its uses, and a greater understanding of its potential. The IoT impact is one of the things that everyone is talking about nowadays which is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“We really appreciate the government initiatives under this National Technology and Innovation Sandbox. It gives us new innovative solutions to help us manage our city better and at the same time it gives opportunities for our local entrepreneurs and startups to put their resources into further facilitating urban living,” he said.
This pilot project will be the first municipal operated IoT infrastructure which will be leveraging on LoRa technology – a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology that uses a wireless modulation method to create long range communication links with low power consumption, which makes it ideal for transmitting sensor data from IoT devices. A single gateway is able to cover 2-5km radius in urban settings.
It will also reduce the cost of ownership of IoT solutions for PPj as the infrastructure will be already in place. Implemented with the Build-Operate-Transfer model, PPj will own and operate the LoRa network for Putrajaya when it is completed.
The project started immediately after the NTIS funding was released in February 2021, and it reached a key milestone in April the same year after the LoRa network mapping and asset inventory capture was completed. The project is expected to be completed after the transfer phase for training and handover to PPj in August this year.
The Sandbox project includes the creation of an operational framework to establish the municipal operated LoRa infrastructure for smart cities and communities that will be published later this year.
The framework seeks to complement the regulatory set by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission by providing practical operational guidance on network planning, deployment, device management and evaluation in terms of network interactions and regulatory requirements and managing and monitoring a LoRa network. This network was constructed by a coalition of founding members from the LoRa technology value chain consisting of PPj, WiPNET, Kerlink (Asia Pacific), Murata Manufacturing, Cre8IOT, Vectolabs, Favoriot, Myinvent Technologies and MSD Innovation.
Majority of smart city deployments today are single-focused to solve one operational pain point at a time. Without the end-goal of a fully integrated smart city for central monitoring of multiple services, e.g street lighting, parking, water quality, etc, these deployments result in siloed networks, software platforms and data. There are a lot of piloting activities but there is hesitance in a full-blown deployment due to these issues.
“The unavailability of a municipal operated IoT network is a major barrier to build smart cities because every pilot project requires its own network infrastructure without any interoperability which drives up costs,” said Vectolabs’ CEO, Faizal Ali, adding that he was hoping that Putrajaya would serve as a model for other cities to emulate including full ownership and control of the infrastructure, devices, and data.
The smart street lighting system developed by Vectolabs is set to be in Presint 15 and will be the first of its kind in Putrajaya. The system is designed to manage all types of street lighting assets, including feeder pillars and all types of street lighting, from the smart-ready LEDs to the conventional High Pressure Sodium (HPS) luminaires.
The system helps PPj to resolve faulty street lighting proactively with the automated notification system, and quickly using the information provided, such as possible faulty components, exact location of the luminaire, and the feeder pillar, circuit and phase the luminaire is connected to. PPj will also be able to track work orders for the faulty street lighting to ensure high quality of service to its community.
PPj seeks to spur local innovations and attract new smart city solutions as Putrajaya will be a true smart city living lab that is a platform for Malaysian innovation and economic development.