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New mobile network promises smart, connected traffic lights in Brazil



Internet of Things (IoT) will be enabled from cellular infrastructure

Santa Rita do Sapucaí, in Minas Gerais State, will be the first Brazilian city with a cellular network capable of helping traffic, water systems, energy and other urban situations.

Installed by Tim, it will be Brazil’s first 4G commercial network dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), concept that anything from refrigerators to airplane turbines can connect to the internet. In the case of the Minas Gerais municipality, the network will be dedicated “things” capable of leaving cities more intelligent, such as smarter traffic lights.

From there, car traffic could be managed according to the number of vehicles with cell phones connected, for example. Think of a crossing of an avenue with a street, whose lighthouse is more open to the avenue, where more cars flow.

Because of this network, the traffic light that says who can cross the intersection will know how to better organize the “open and close”, letting the traffic flow for longer by knowing that more cars are on a certain route – be it the greater or the smaller. The same can apply to a pedestrian traffic light, which can identify a large accumulation of people waiting to cross the street and give way to them instead of the cars.

Although not a large urban center, Santa Rita do Sapucaí was not chosen by chance by chance. The city is home to the National Institute of Telecommunications (Inatel), a partner of TIM (responsible for the network) and Ericsson to create internet technologies of things for so-called smart cities. The municipality of Minas Gerais will serve as a test site for the application of equipment such as the traffic lights mentioned above.

The new network will operate in the 700 MHz band, a frequency that the telephony operator plans to be present in 4 thousand Brazilian cities by 2020, which will allow the expansion of the techniques developed in Santa Rita do Sapucaí to other locations.

“With this first activation, we have become the facilitator for the development of this infinite range of solutions that will increasingly influence the lives of all of us. We chose NB-IoT technology because it is a standard adopted worldwide and that, applied to frequency 700MHz, extends traditional coverage of smartphone usage up to 40%, as well as low battery consumption, lasting from 5 to 10 years, which is fundamental for IoT applications, “said Leonardo Capdeville, vice president of technology from TIM Brasil.