Curitiba will test a technology smart grid first 5G by the end of the first quarter of 2022. It will be the only capital and city with more than 500 thousand inhabitants in Brazil to participate in the process.
The capital of Paraná was chosen to be part of the Conecta 5G pilot project, launched on Thursday night (16) by the Ministry of Communications and the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI).
The fifth generation of mobile networks (5G) will bring many benefits to the population and businesses, such as connections 100 times faster than 4G, communications without delays and new smart city services.
Cris Alessi, president of the Curitiba Agency for Development and Innovation, represented Mayor Rafael Greca at the launch of Conecta 5G, in Natal (RN). The event was also attended by the minister of Communications, Fábio Faria, and the president of ABDI, Igor Calvet.
The pilot project is sponsored by ABDI and will allow Curitiba and four other participating cities to install a technology that integrates 5G antennas with intelligent public lighting fixtures, being a solution to the need for a high number of antennas for the 5G technology to operate in cities.
“The technology that will be tested in Curitiba, in practice, transforms street lighting lamps into cell phone antennas that spread the 5G signal as Wi-Fi.”
As the management of public lighting is municipal, city halls will even be able to generate ancillary revenue by renting their antennas, inside the lighting fixtures, to mobile phone operators. Furthermore, with the integration of 5G antennas to smart lighting, cities will be able to create their own 5G network infrastructure and still offer fast connectivity to the population.
In addition to Curitiba, Ceará-Mirim (RN), Petrolina (PE), Araguaína (TO) and Jaraguá do Sul (SC) will also participate in the pilot project. Conecta 5G will have a duration of 36 months and resources in the order of R$ 10.3 million, R$ 10 million of which from ABDI and the remainder from the municipalities.
Digital Transformation with 5G Technology
Cris Alessi predicts that, by participating in Conecta 5G, Curitiba will take an even greater leap in the process of digital transformation of the municipality and of the productive sector, already started almost five years ago with initiatives by Vale do Pinhão, the movement that unites the City Hall and the entire innovation ecosystem in the development of innovative solutions for all Curitibans.
“Fifth generation networks are seen as an infrastructure with the potential for revolution, both for industry 4.0 and for the process of adopting new smart city services. Therefore, the importance of Curitiba participating in Conecta 5G”, justifies the president of the Curitiba Agency.
Cris recalls that, since 2019, the city has taken the lead in relation to other cities in Brazil by modernizing the laws that regulate the installation of cell phone antennas in the city. “Decree nº 989, signed at the time by Mayor Rafael Greca, made the process of installing this equipment less bureaucratic, now facilitating the implementation of 5G technology”, she says.
According to the Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria, initiatives such as Conecta 5G will help anticipate the deployment of fifth generation mobile networks in the country, as cities that were going to receive 5G in 2027 or 2028 will be able to anticipate and acquire the lighting fixtures smart with the antennas. “We are ready for a revolution. It’s very exciting for me to know that in the next few months we will have the 5G up and running. It is our mission to keep Brazil connected”, he says.
ABDI’s president, Igor Calvet, emphasizes that Conecta 5G is in line with the Brazilian agency’s mission to democratize innovations that produce increasingly better results for the population. “It is with this idea of originality and innovation that we are bringing the possibility that Brazilian municipalities can accelerate the diffusion of technologies through public lighting. The luminaire can, in addition to lighting, bring better public safety and also connectivity to people and, above all, to companies”, he stresses.
Calvet also explains that Curitiba was chosen to represent Brazilian capitals and large cities in the pilot project as it is a global standout when it comes to governance, innovation and technology. “The partnership with a city as mature as Curitiba will really encourage the development of new services for citizens and companies”, he adds.
Developed by Nokia and Juganu exclusively to be tested in the Conecta 5G project, the intelligent luminaire has a built-in 5G antenna and uses Qualcomm’s chipset technology.
The 5G internet uses high frequency millimeter waves (bands) and, therefore, requires more receivers and signal repeaters to overcome fixed obstacles, such as towers and buildings. Therefore, the implementation of the fifth generation of mobile network foresees the construction of new connection bases.
The pilot project tests will be carried out in various bands of 5G technology, such as 27.5 and 27.9 GHz (gigahertz) that will be evaluated in Curitiba, closer to the needs of the productive sector. “With this, we will be testing the solution for networks that benefit in particular industry 4.0”, said Cris Alessi.
The City Hall of Curitiba, the Agency Curitiba, the Institute for Research and Urban Planning of Curitiba (Ippuc) and the Municipal Secretariat for Administration, Personnel Management and Information Technology are still defining the places, such as streets and other public spaces, where it will be 5G antenna technology integrated to intelligent luminaires was urged. Testing should start in the capital in the first quarter of 2022.
Curitiba and other large Brazilian cities have priority in the installation of 5G infrastructure by telephony operators, which should take place by March 2022. According to the rules defined by the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), the 5G service of telecoms will start until July of next year in capitals. Afterwards, the operators will go to cities with more than 500 thousand inhabitants and, subsequently, to smaller cities.
Curitiba and ABDI already have other partnerships for the development of innovative Smart Cities projects in the city. A cooperation between the City Hall, the Curitiba Agency and ABDI will make possible the replication of the entity’s projects and programs aimed at innovation. In addition, the capital of Paraná used the ABDI best practices guide and technical consultancy to develop the decree that instituted the Sandbox Curitiba Program.
The sandbox is an environment delimited by municipal law to serve as a place for experimenting and validating smart city technologies. It is an area where regulation is minimal, which contributes to attracting technology-based companies interested in an environment where they can test their technologies.
In the case of Curitiba, there will not be a specific region where the technologies will be tested.
The future with 5G technology
A faster internet with less latency. This is how 5G is usually explained, but the technology will bring many other benefits to the population and companies:
- Much faster connections: the fifth generation of mobile networks will be able to have downloads of up to 20 Gb/s (gigabits per second). The speed is going to be so impressive that a person can download a movie on a streaming platform in two or three seconds.”
- Low latency will ensure real-time communication: the 5G network will also enable delay-free communications. A neurosurgeon who is in Curitiba, for example, will be able to perform an operation in real time on a patient in the USA.
- Everything will be connected: The technology will enable the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows devices to be connected to the Internet around the world. Thus, from work, it will be possible to activate the coffee maker at home.
- Smart cities: combined with technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and IoT, the new generation of internet will also make viable more smart city services, such as smart traffic lights, which will be able to better control the flow of cars and pedestrians and reduce congestion in big cities.
- Industry 4.0: the greater connectivity and the shortest response time with 5G will allow the use of intelligent machines and real-time communication between different equipment, through the IoT. The technology will revolutionize the industry in all fields (automated manufacturing, precision agriculture and transport), including allowing a fully intelligent and integrated chain, with greater efficiency, agility and, consequently, lower costs.