Ranplan Wireless is a company you might have come across before if you’re a regular reader, as it created – among other things – a tool that helps design and optimise 5G networks (see above), and now it’s back with a grant from the UK government to build a data analytics platform for predicting and managing congestion in smart cities.
The company received £300,000 in funding from Innovate UK, which is part of UK Research and Innovation and is funded by the UK government.
The project, which is being carried out in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, Jinan University, East China University of Science & Technology and China Unicom, will receive this funding over a two-year period, and aims to create a data analytics platform that can provide real-time information on how people move around their cities.
The platform will use machine learning to do things like identifying peak traffic times and patterns of movement, so that in turn town planners will be able to predict the locations and areas that traffic congestion is mostly likely to occur and use that information to prevent it from happening, for example by altering traffic light schedules.
Powered by 5G
In other words, the tool will help to keep smart cities moving smoothly, even when they’re busy. And this plays into 5G because such a tool can only work with smart cities (i.e. ones were traffic and the like is monitored), and tomorrow’s mobile technology is likely to power smart cities – keeping millions of machines from cars to traffic lights connected with minimal latency.
Indeed, as Alastair Williamson, CEO Ranplan Group AB, notes: “Advanced data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and ultra-fast and reliable 5G networks are the building blocks for tomorrow’s smart cities.”
He concludes: ”Smart cities are all about people and 5G is a core enabling technology to empower society. The results of this research project will enable us to commercialise a new smart mobility solution to complement our existing in-building and outdoor network planning tools and offer cities a robust 5G and IoT planning tool.”
We’d expect most smart cities in the future to have tools like this to avoid congestion, but there’s a good chance that the UK’s cities will be among the first, since this project has received funding from the UK government.
And speaking of the UK government, this isn’t the only 5G project it’s funding. Far from it. It’s also funding numerous 5G trials and testbeds.
- Further reading: What is 5G?