Last month Telensa announced a major funding round, on the back of sustained and profitable growth, in order to meet increased demand for its smart city solutions. By taking a city-centric approach to smart city applications in an industry that typically offers separate ecosystems of network components, Telensa stands out as different. Here are some reasons why it works:
Cities want fiscal and social solutions, not network components
In street lighting, Telensa offers an end-to-end control system that quickly pays for itself in energy and maintenance savings, and enables lifetime local control of lighting levels. The low power wide area (LPWA) wireless network effectively comes for free, and offers the city a low-risk route into other smart city IoT applications such as parking or environmental monitoring.
LED streetlight conversions are driving smart city wireless adoption
The world’s 350 million or so street lights are steadily being converted to energy efficient LEDs. Up to 40% of a city’s energy costs are in street lighting, and switching to LED can cut those costs in half. Wireless controls are increasingly installed as part of these projects, meaning no additional deployment costs for the city to acquire a wireless smart city network.
An affordable path from downtown pilot to city-wide services
Smart city pilot schemes are important. They show what’s possible and they encourage industry partnerships and innovation. But it’s hard to think of many smart city pilots that have spread to entire cities or regional jurisdictions. And that’s because without the pilot subsidies the wider adoption doesn’t have a viable financial case. Telensa, by providing a city or region-wide network from the outset, provides a low-cost route to extend smart city benefits from the city centre pilot out to the whole population. And in turn, by massively expanding the area of data collection, any central decision-making analytics systems become much more effective.
In step with the long productive life of smart city applications
Smart city infrastructure typically has a design life of at least 15 years, much longer than the cadence of generational change in cellular networks. By running city networks in unlicensed spectrum reserved long-term for Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) purposes, Telensa works in step with the city’s infrastructure life cycles.
- Cities and regional authorities are the new applications focal point
And they know it. Smart city applications are about making services in the local jurisdiction more cost-effective, better connected and more responsive to the changing needs of citizens. It is city authorities that broker links between different providers such as transportation, healthcare or law enforcement. It is city authorities that control the sites for networks, sensors and devices. And it is city authorities that bear the ultimate responsibility for making it all work. So it is not surprising that these same city authorities recognise their central role and are keen to control and monetize their own smart city networks rather than renting shared access from a generic provider.