The plumber of the Internet Of Things and Rennes Metropole deploy an IoT network

RENNES METROPOLE, which includes 43 municipalities, has joined forces with the innovative SME WI6LABS to deploy its own LoRa® network. This represents an investment of 1 euro per inhabitant and allows the metropolis to save up to 50% compared to the rates charged by telco operators.

Mabilais’ visit by our team

It all starts in 2015. The Internet of Things is booming when the world’s smallest smart city, Saint-Sulpice, is launched. Rennes then became one of the first French cities to take an interest in the subject: what if the city were to deploy its own IoT network?

Indeed, the city would make a real financial gain if it developed its LoRa® network rather than using a operated network. “A savings of 50% compared to the rates charged by operators” according to the Journal du Net.

The desire to experiment with a LoRa® private network is growing, and in 2016, it is set up.

What can be done with a LoRa® network?

This is the question that RENNES METROPOLE asked itself. Many uses were tested for 2 years in order to test the IoT network in real conditions.

At the end of 2018, when the experiment was ended, RENNES METROPOLE decides to deploy a real network in all the municipalities and to industrialize the operation of its IoT network.

The waste management project becomes the first case of industrial use: Voluntary Disposal Points are equipped with level measurement sensors. A total of 3000 sensors are deployed on the metropolis. They measure the filling rate of cans to optimize collection routes.

The core business of WI6LABS: the LoRaWAN® network deployment.

WI6LABS deploys an IoT network over the entire metropolitan area, i.e. 700 km2, with 43 municipalities. This represents an investment of 1 euro per inhabitant!

After the identification of sites that can  accommodate gateways by RENNES METROPOLE, WI6LABS participates in each technical visit to identify the best positioning of future gateways, as well as the most appropriate technical solution: an autonomous system composed of a solar panel or, if the building allows it, a powered system.

The metropolis definitely validates the gateways installation following the coverage simulation carried out by WI6LABS.

From planning to equipment procurement, including installation and commissioning, WI6LABS supports RENNES METROPOLE throughout the project.

Sensors installed at the voluntary disposal points are connected to the LoRa® network. They transmit their data 4 times a day to the gateways installed by WI6LABS. To date, on 09/04/2019, 80% of Rennes territory is covered.

Then, the collected data is transmitted to Wiotys, the LoRaWAN® private network solution developed by WI6LABS. It is the network’s heart: the telecom software that drives the network and allows RENNES METROPOLE to manage and operate its gateways and sensors. Wiotys can also decode and route the data collected from the sensors. The software is deployed within the IT department of RENNES METROPOLE.

As the solution is constantly improving, our teams participate daily in its evolution, its maintenance and its update.

WI6LABS offers RENNES METROPOLE its support and expertise in the use of the network.

And in the future?

By the end of the year, WI6LABS will deploy about fifteen new gateways to fully cover the territory. 50 outdoor gateways and 10 indoor will cover the entire 700 km².

The great benefit for RENNES METROPOLE of owning its own IOT network is that it can be used for the management and data collection in water, gas, electricity, etc. A tailor-made solution for the city that becomes sovereign of his data.

All of the Metropole’s services as well as the IT department now have access to an IoT network built for their needs.

The local water utility, the hospital or the public transport department, for connected transport, already use the LoRa® network.

If you also have an IoT project to share with us, don’t hesitate any longer, contact us!