Omniflow’s smart pole at the service of Smart Cities with 5G


One of the many ambitions of cities is to enhance the value of everyday objects in the streets while reducing their environmental impact. Thanks to the current technological evolution, this valuation will optimize the use of each infrastructure. The startup Omniflow, created in 2013, is a perfect example! With more than 2,000 products installed worldwide, it offers a new approach to urban lighting. How? By transforming the traditional streetlight into a carbon-neutral object packed with useful features. Multiple functionalities beyond simple lighting are combined in a single, ready-to-use infrastructure: intelligent lighting, security cameras, park assistance, electric vehicle charging docks, data collection and analysis, etc. But these services require a reliable and robust network, which is precisely why Omniflow has turned to the Orange 5G Lab program.

Omniflow Has Tested 5G!

Line of business
Street lighting and mobility services.
Solution
A streetlight powered by a wind turbine and integrated solar panels. The energy produced is stored to power various high-value-added services for cities and their users, such as intelligent lighting, security cameras, or IoT sensors.
Requirements
To have a network efficient enough to continuously (24/7) communicate the data collected by the pole and its sensors to the data processing platform and display a real-time monitoring dashboard.
Benefits of 5G
Very high throughput - that allows collecting a large amount of data in real time ; Stability and robustness of the network (without service interruption).

Orange Fab / Orange 5G Lab: Dual Support for Omniflow

Omniflow created a smart pole called Omniled. Powered by wind and solar energy, it captures renewable energies and stores them in batteries. Each pole is equipped with a wind turbine, solar panels, and integrated energy storage that allows multiple applications, all connected to an intelligent platform. The pole delivers various services, from smart lighting to mobility solutions and security or counting with video analysis. Omniled only uses energy from the public power grid when its batteries are exhausted. As a result, the pole saves more than 90% of energy compared to ordinary lighting and more than 60% compared to standard LED lighting! “Everything is optimized to work autonomously in all situations, right down to the maintenance of the solar panels by the wind itself,” explains Pedro Ruao, Founder and CEO of Omniflow.

Assisted by Orange Fab as part of the 5G program, Omniflow also benefited from the support of the Orange 5G Lab teams. “Connectivity is a crucial parameter for the start-up,” explains Julien Péraudeau, Product Manager for Orange 5G Lab. These poles represent a new medium for implementing Smart City sensors. However, to guarantee the reliability and stability of the features offered 24/7, Omniflow must be able to rely on a stable and robust network. That’s the whole point of 5G!” The goal of Orange 5G Lab’s support is to finalize the development of the 5G connected streetlight as well as its commercial version. “To this end, we provided the start-up with our 5G starter kit and assistance for its smooth integration.”

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Integrating and Testing 5G Connectivity

The experimentation with Omniflow consisted of integrating and testing the 5G connectivity. This connectivity allows the streetlight uses (counting, analysis, etc.) to upload their data in real time and occasionally take advantage of 5G speeds to transfer large data volumes (control video sequences, algorithm updates, etc.).

"Omniflow uses video and AI to detect motion, objects, and people. These video streams are now processed locally (on the pole). But 5G and Edge computing allow the processing to be deported to the cloud. This second solution simplifies the service architecture, facilitates updating detection algorithms, and allows using AI models requiring more computing power. However, the cloud means sending data. And to do so, Omniflow needs high broadband and a stable network."»

Julien Péraudeau, Orange 5G Lab Product Manager

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A Real-life Demo

The Orange team and Omniflow installed an Omniled pole to demonstrate this versatile equipment at the Orange innovation campus. Equipped with a 5G modem, this pole helps illustrate the people counting function on a delimited area and has also been fitted with an air quality sensor (BETTAIR). A measurement monitoring dashboard is securely accessible on the web. It conveniently illustrates the use of the services using graphs based on historical data (electricity consumption, savings generated in kWh, kg of CO2 saved, temperature, wind speed, air quality indicator, counting of people entering the monitored area).

Extended Coverage and Improved Connectivity: New Use Case for the Omniled Pole

In Dijon, another test pole was implemented. Its particularity? “It wasn’t equipped with a 5G modem, but with a 5G radio cell installed directly inside the pole. Thanks to this, we can cover the area around the pole in 5G. This is a great asset for operators who could easily offer coverage extensions in very dense areas in the future,” concludes the Orange 5G Lab Product Manager.

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