IIIT Hyderabad and Silicon Labs Launch Campus-wide Wi-SUN FAN 1.1 Network for Smart City Applications

IIIT Hyderabad and Silicon Labs

Hyderabad, May 6, 2023……: IIITH Smart City Living Lab in partnership with Silicon Labs, a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technologies, launched on Friday a campus-wide Wi-SUN backbone Mesh network at IIITH Living Lab supporting Field Area Network (FAN) 1.1 Specification as a continuation to Phase 1 launch supporting FAN 1.0 back in Sept 2022, to establish a reliable, reachable communication network to enable research and solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities easier.

Wi-SUN is an open-standard protocol enabling interoperable solutions through open-source software with multi-layer security. Wi-SUN will enable utilities, municipalities, and other enterprises to deploy long-range, low-power wireless mesh networks connecting thousands of IoT nodes. The Wi-SUN network uses the unlicensed band with no additional network infra adds to the existing modes of sensor communications including Wi-Fi and LORA which allows sensors to connect easily to the cloud.

In Phase 2, 30 more Wi-SUN router nodes have been deployed on the campus with nodes containing Silicon Labs’ radio – EFR32FG25 modules. All these nodes are interconnected through a self-healing mesh network and connected to a Border Router (BR) for backhauling the data to the cloud. These nodes support Wi-SUN FAN1.1 specification (both OFDM &FSK modulation) that includes support of battery-powered Limited Function Nodes (LFN) and backward compatibility to previously deployed FAN1.0 nodes. OFDM support enhances robust connectivity as well as higher bit rates.

With the present deployment, more than 100 streetlights on campus are being controlled and a dense and steady Wi-SUN network is built covering more than 80% of the campus.

The FAN 1.1 extension to the Wi-SUN network at IIITH provides the ideal infrastructure to build and validate a multitude of Smart City solutions including water management, air quality monitoring, smart lighting, traffic management, energy management, waste management and many others. The launch of Phase 2 of the network is a significant step in enabling innovators to address the key issues in sustainable urbanization. Mr. V.L. Praveen Kumar, Director, HMWSSB also mentioned that the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply Board would be interested to try the feasibility of the Wi-SUN network deployment for water utilities in Hyderabad.

“The phase two launch of India’s first campus-wide Wi-SUN network at the IIITH Smart City Living Lab is a crucial milestone towards enabling the development of an array of smart city solutions. This innovative street-lighting application, with thirty built-in FAN 1.1 network nodes connecting the campus street lamps for remote monitoring and control along with the thirty FAN1.0 nodes deployed earlier in the last year, establishes a Wi-SUN backbone mesh network for future smart city applications. This demonstrates Silicon Labs’ commitment to contributing to the technology ecosystem in India and industry-academia partnerships. These smart city solutions hold the potential to contribute to the Indian government’s Smart City Mission,” said Daniel Cooley, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Senior Vice President, Technology and Product Development at Silicon Labs.

The success of this implementation becomes a boon to many utility companies to try for extensive deployment with reliable and efficient connectivity using Wi-SUN, academia for future research study into the Wi-SUN network, and startups and government to use this as a testbed to build and validate solutions for smart cities using the Wi-SUN network.

IIITH Smart City Living Lab is set up as an initiative of MEITY (Ministry of Electronics & IT), National Cities Mission, and Gov of Telangana, with knowledge support from EBTC (European Business Technology Council). Silicon Labs, Intel, and Saint Gobain are the other three founding corporate partners who joined hands with IIITH in building smart city solutions.

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