5G enables smart lighting in Brazilian city

Smart Lighting
Sheila Zabeu -

October 21, 2023

The city of Pato Branco, in the Brazilian state of Paraná, will receive smart luminaires based on 5G connectivity. The project is being carried out by Juganu, a developer of lighting solutions, and is the first implementation of small cells 5G (small wireless access point) in Brazil, according to Claro, Embratel and Qualcomm.

In addition to ensuring more efficient lighting with low energy consumption, the smart luminaires have telemanagement, monitoring cameras and Internet connection services for the population via public WiFi. According to Embratel, 10 smart luminaires have been in operation since December 2022 and, through a temporary spectrum use licence, four of them will be connected to 5G from Claro and Embratel.

Another benefit of the project is the early availability of 5G signals for Pato Branco. According to the federal timetable, the municipality would only receive 5G connectivity services in 2028. However, the luminaires will soon offer 5G signals in their surroundings, allowing residents to try out 5G connections from Claro and Embratel.

“Pato Branco has the title of technological and innovative capital of the state of Paraná, and the activation of the 5G signal will certainly open new doors for economic growth, improving urban infrastructure and innovation in various sectors, especially education, health and business. This achievement puts us in an outstanding position, being a pioneer in the south-western region of Paraná in implementing this cutting-edge technology,” said Robson Cantu, mayor of Pato Branco.

“Our solutions promote the development of cities and demonstrate that technology is an important tool for transforming elements such as luminaires into intelligent devices, with more efficient security and connectivity functions. Smart city initiatives are the future of more efficient and innovative management,” says Bruno Gemus, CEO of Juganu in Brazil.

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Through the 5G network, Pato Branco’s luminaires will be able to operate more efficiently. The city council will be able to manage public lighting more precisely, identifying possible incidents quickly and carrying out preventive maintenance based on the data collected by the equipment, according to Maria Teresa Lima, Embratel’s executive director for the government sector.

In addition to the FSM 100xx 5G RAN platform, Qualcomm supplied both solutions for small cells and the cameras and Wi-Fi connection system used in conjunction with the smart luminaires.

Other initiatives

The installation of smart luminaires with 5G antennas is part of the Conecta 5G programme, an association between the Brazilian Industrial Development Agency (ABDI) and the São José dos Campos Technology Park, with support from the Ministry of Communications and the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel). The aim of the programme is to use intelligent infrastructures with integrated 5G antennas to democratise access to the fifth generation of mobile networks in Brazilian municipalities. The technology used in the Conecta 5G project was developed by Nokia and Juganu with a Qualcomm chipset.

The first Brazilian capital to receive this smart luminaire technology was Curitiba, in the state of Paraná. This was followed by Sorocaba, in the interior of São Paulo, Araguaína, in Tocantins, and Campina Grande, in Paraíba. There are currently 12 cities covered by the technology, and another 26 are in the bureaucratic phase.

According to ABDI, in a first phase, the programme will run on a trial basis in an urban area limited by the city council of each municipality. After the test period, the municipalities will be able to create a public lighting park with intelligent luminaires using funds from the municipal contribution for public lighting. They will also be able to generate additional sources of revenue by renting out the luminaires to telephone operators. Another possibility is to adopt public-private partnerships (PPPs), in which the operators serve the end users and the municipality operates its own services.

ABDI explains that the transmission of 5G signals requires the installation of at least five times as many aerials compared to the number used for 4G. To support this new infrastructure, cities need to adapt their local legislation to the General Antenna Law, a process that often delays access to 5G connectivity. With the smart luminaires of the Conecta 5G project, municipalities can resolve this issue more quickly, since the antennas are installed on the streetlights.

“Placing aerials inside luminaires would solve the issue of the lack of locations in municipalities for aerials, regardless of regulatory issues. In Brazil, lampposts are the property of the energy concessionaires, therefore a private space, but the luminaires are owned by the municipality, which is public,” explains Tiago Faierstein, ABDI’s new business manager.