Dublin’s smart trash cans found a new purpose in the pandemic: Snitching

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Dublin’s solar-powered BigBelly bins were already smart, sending alerts to complete collections almost entirely. Now, they are being used to house small cell infrastructure to measure busyness in the city and improve connectivity in Dublin.

COVID-19 is the latest example of cities remodeling existing smart infrastructure to address the immediate new challenges brought on by the epidemic.

As part of a pilot project with Dublin City Council, smart bin provider BigBelly configured its system to include timestamps, triggering each time the rub accumulates.

The data provides a snapshot of the “pulse of the city” at an unprecedented demand for these information locally and nationally, said Jamie Kaden, Dublin’s Smart City Program Manager.

“Our 350 coaches are in parks, city centers and suburbs, so you can start to anticipate activities happening in different parts of the city, and will complement other datasets in terms of data busyness and what’s happening in the city, ” They told City today.

Smaller radar sensors are also placed around 20 of the compartment, such as footfalls, to give better granularity of data.

[Read: How Polestar is using blockchain to increase transparency]

Box internet

Also putting their compartments to work, Dublin is exploring their use as a network for small cell devices to condense the network and pave the way for 5G.

It is part of the city’s broader efforts to ramp up connectivity in the city, including the creation of a new dedicated Department of Telecommunications, as the epidemic highlighted the importance of using the Internet for work, education and social connections globally is.

Dublin is presiding Connected City Infrastructure Program within the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which brings together companies including Cellnex, Three, Sickleau, Schrider, and Ligman, BigBelly, to develop a standardized approach that allows radio and Wi-Fi equipment to easily exist in existing Enables to integrate. And new street-level infrastructure, such as streetlights, smart poles, cans, and more.

The initiative aims to help cities make the deployment of telecommunications services easier and faster for operators; Expanding market and scale for infrastructure and equipment providers; And reducing visual clutter by increased numbers of small cells.

Vishal Mathur, Global Head of Engagement, Telecom Infra Project City today That TIP is working with a growing number of cities, with traditional telco industry players and startups.

He said: “The idea is that by bringing open interfaces and disagreements into the network, you are commoditizing hardware, bringing it down to the lowest common denominator in terms of scale and hardware driving economies – radio units, Wi-Fi access points. for. And then ‘soft’ as intelligence as needed.

“He drives the competition and lowers the barriers to entry of new players. We break those lock-ins [between buyers and providers] And we can change the way the network invests in the future. “

business models

The TIP initiative also follows the European Commission Adoption New specifications on physical and technical characteristics for small cell equipment, recommend that the antenna meet these guidelines should be exempted from the permitting requirements scheme.

“New small cells (antennas) will be less visible (either fully integrated and invisible to the general public or, if visible, occupy a maximum of 30 liters of space).”

Solutions developed through the Connected City Infrastructure project will be validated with a view to expanding across Dublin’s Smart Docklands citywide. This would result in a blueprint that other cities and stakeholders could adopt to deploy small cells on street assets on operational and business models.

Mathur stated that operating models may vary by asset location and availability.

He said: “If Dublin can develop a digital map of all its assets, street furniture, and locations etc. and see which people have fiber and electricity, where there is street lighting, etc. – this is a big The strategic asset is that they can quickly leverage services, or participants to come to the table with connectivity, small cell solutions, or street furniture solutions.

“The setting we are doing is the framework.”

Dublin has now established a dedicated telecommunications unit to streamline access, accelerate rollout and attract private investment. It is collaborating with the city of Glasgow, which has recently happened Created a similar department.

The team will serve as a central point of contact for telecommunications-related issues and asset management. They will create a data catalog and establish a legal framework for the deployment and use of infrastructure.

“The response we are getting from operators in the region is that they are absolutely delighted,” Kaden said. “At first they could not work with the city because it was a challenge to work with silos and various asset owners.”

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Published February 12, 2021 – 16:00 UTC