An integrated approach
A modern city consists of interconnected sub-systems such as energy, transport, water, buildings etc. which, in the past, have been individually modelled without much consideration to their interdependency and interaction. Moreover, the solutions proposed by these models have been proprietary both in terms of vendor and technology. Zeetta Networks proposes a new integrated approach where a smart city is modelled as a network of sub-networks where its design, construction and operation follows software defined networking (SDN) and network virtualisation (NV) principles. The core technologies have been developed by the High Performance Networks Group of the University of Bristol in the UK over the last five years as part of European, UK government and industry funded research.
The proposed solution
The cornerstone of Zeetta’s solution is the smart city network operating system (NetOS®) an open, scalable and virtualized network platform based on SDN/NV technologies. It creates a consistent and up-to-date view of the underlying physical sub-networks and allows the creation of “network slices” which can be individually monitored, controlled and used to deploy a wide range of innovative new B2B or B2C services for citizens, business and academia. The SDN architecture enables the creation of an efficient open-source development platform that allows any enterprise, regardless its size, to break into the market of smart-city application and network service development and utilise the same smart city infrastructure to develop and test their application which will be used also for its commercial deployment.
Real world deployment
The NetOS® technology will be deployed in a real Smart City environment as part of Zeetta's participation in the €25 million Horizon2020 project REPLICATE which has been funded by the European Commission. It will manage a variety of networks including fiber-optic network linking several nodes around a city to create a high-performance, high-speed core network. A variety of wireless sub-networks will be attached to the core network able to deliver user data rates up to 1 Gbps to moving electric cars using a combination of Wi-Fi, WiMAX and WiGig. Smart meter sensors from hundreds of households across the city would supply the network with information about energy demand while sensors attached to the central biomass boiler will provide information about the energy supply levels. Data from all connected devices will be collected and processed in an Open Data Management system.