The smart city maze is comprised of thousands of connected objects, devices and sensors that are connected with a complex web of last mile and wide-area networks and sources of data spread over a distributed network, all of which means controlling and analyzing those various data flows are essential.
Analytic platforms are key for smart cities because they bring the data and content from their sources to the locations where the services are used.
In Part I of this Q&A, Fadi Shanaah, regional business development director of the Middle East Area at Orange Business Services , discussed the operation infrastructure for smart cities that integrate networks, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and analytics. (See SDN Controls the Smart City Labyrinth .) Here in Part II, he talks about the analytics platform that is used for a smart city deployment.
Telco Transformation: Orange Business Services' DataVenue is a service that's targeted at smart cities. Could you explain how it has been used so far to generate services from city data?
Fadi Shanaah: Datavenue is our modular IoT and analytics solution that enables advanced analysis and decision-making. The Datavenue solution encompasses the selection of actual objects, their reliable and secure connection and management of data.
For customers, it easily optimizes their operational efficiency, increases customer loyalty and gives them new services with the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics. In a smart city context, the platform provides the connective tissue for all the different parts that go into a typical a smart city layout, such as sensors, data, connectivity and management.
Datavenue is made up of four components; select, connect, manage and control.
With "select," we help customers pick the relevant objects and data for their businesses. Our IoT experts work with customers to transform their equipment into intelligent objects, to select connected objects from our catalog or objects designed by vertical partners and to select relevant data to enrich their service. In a smart city context, that would mean turning buildings, cars, traffic lights and parking meters into devices that can collect and transmit data.
For "connect," we facilitate data transmission between the objects in a city and business applications by offering end-to-end, reliable connectivity solutions.
The connectivity could be fixed line and satellite broadband high-speed data transmission, or cellular/low-power wide area (LPWA) networks. Global coverage is achieved through Orange’s own mobile network and those of its roaming partners, or local wireless solutions adapted for short to long-range wireless transmissions. Regardless of where the object is or where it roams, Orange can still directly connect to it seamlessly. A smart car or parking solution would receive uninterrupted service regardless of the country or city it is in.
For "manage," we help customers collect and store data securely and manage devices efficiently. A comprehensive approach to collecting and hosting data, managing devices and data lifecycles can turn data into useful insights. Management is a key issue in smart cities due to the high number of connected devices in the field and the volume of data each one is collecting.
For "control," we provide customers with the necessary expertise to ensure end-to-end security, full systems integration capability, operations and a good customer or user experience. A smart city is a huge undertaking with very complex security requirements attached to it.
TT: Smart transportation is one of the goals of the smart city projects undertaken by Orange. The plan is to use travel data from smartphones and find ways to make transportation choices. Could you explain how you plan to provide value by analysing urban travel data aggregated from cell phones?
FS: We offer accurate statistics on mobility patterns in real time with unique and powerful algorithms designed by Orange. Using Flux Vision -- our data analytics platform -- we convert mobile network data into statistical indicators to analyze how often different geographical areas are visited and how people move around.
For example, Orange is working with RATP Group, the world's fifth largest operator in the public transport sector, where Flux Vision is being used to provide real-time population flows, study inter-modality in transports used -- such as trains, buses and taxis-- to measure travel times and monitor ratio between travelers and airport workers.
The insights this produced helped many of our transportation customers decide on new routes and destinations, reorganize bus timetables, evaluate performances compared to competition and launch new services that come in addition to the existing transportation offerings.
— Kishore Jethanandani, Contributing Writer, Telco Transformation