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Network Infrastructure for Smart Cities

Cities are becoming digital and network infrastructure plays a very important role to make this digitization a reality. With the growing urbanization and the emergence of Smart services in many cities, there is a growing need for an outdoor wired and wireless infrastructure offering end-to-end access to citizens, visitors, and tourists.

Not just that, the same network infrastructure supports city services, citizen participation, and the Internet of Things (IoT) across the city. Very similar to a corporate network layer core, distribution, and access, network for a smart city has: managed Internet service layer, data center, city, and street layers.

Lets have a look at all of them:

1. Managed Internet Services Layer: This layer includes devices and components used in the user authentication use case, which is managed by the network operator, service provider (SP), or managed services partner (MSP), Cloud provider

2. The data center layer: This is the layer where management and services actually reside. The data center layer includes network, compute, and Storage resources for citywide network applications and services

3. The city layer: This layer connects hardware to the data center. It even aggregates traffic from the street layer and uses the Resilient Ethernet Protocol (REP) to deliver very fast convergence times.

4. The street layer: Thec access layer of the architecture to which user equipment (UE) and clients; this layer also use the REP for faster convergence. Access layer network includes Smart Lighting, Smart Parking, Outdoor Access points for Wi-Fi hotspots, Surveillance Solution, City safety, Fleet, Waste, crowd and environmental sensors

Devices at the street layer include the outdoor citywide network access points mounted on street infrastructure, ruggedized access switches in street cabinets, citywide network routers, and RFID or Wi-Fi tags used for city services

Third-party sensors and city applications are specialized to solve specific domain opportunities.

  • Sensors connected using wired or wireless (RF, Wi-Fi, GPRS) links
  • Controllers to control the modules
  • Management systems to monitor the overall usage, failures, trends etc

Secure Overlay Network for Smart City Services

The City WiFi network acts as an overlay IP network to host and deploy various city use cases, services, and devices. The following characteristics of the City network allow the city and its vendors to deploy devices in the city and host multiple services using the City Wi-Fi network:

  • Highly available wireless network to the street
  • Highly available wired network along with PoE and PoE+ capabilities
  • Dynamic VLAN provisioning securely based on 802.1x or MAB
  • Differentiated QoS based on the type of traffic and service

Based on the functions of the city Wi-Fi network, it can be used to host various smart services across the city such as smart lighting, smart parking, traffic management, waste management and so on.

Street Layer Components:

  • Outdoor Access points
  • Ruggedized street switches
  • Ruggedized routers
  • Outdoor IP Cameras
  • Smart service sensors like smart lighting, parking, and other sensors

City layer components:

  • Aggregation Switches
  • Root APs
  • Fog devices

Data Centre components:

  • Layer 3 switches
  • Access Control System
  • Firewall
  • Wireless Lan control
  • MSE & CMX
  • Servers
  • Video Surveillance Manager

Managed Internet Service Layer components:

  • Intelligent Services Gateway
  • Policy server
  • SMS Gateway
  • Internet connectivity
  • Management application of Sensors

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