Ericsson, Bharti Infratel bag Smart City deal for Bhopal City, to deploy 400 smart poles with WiFi service
Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson and telecom tower company Bharti Infratel have bagged a smart city project from Bhopal Smart City Development Corp. Ltd. (BSCDCL) to deploy smart poles in the city at an investment of Rs690 crore. The project has around seven-eight projects built into one programme, on pubic private partnership model, under which Ericsson and Bharti Infratel will install 400 smart poles across the city, which will be equipped with environment sensors, EV Charging Points, surveillance cameras, digital signage system and WiFi access points, Chandramoli Shukla, CEO, BSCDCL, told ET.
He added that the two companies are investing Rs 690 crore, including Rs 390 capex and Rs 300 crore opex over 15 years. BSCDCL is a special purpose (SPV) vehicle formed for the smart city mission in Bhopal. These smart poles will work as mobile sites powered by Ericsson’s Zero Site technology. This pan-city project will address various smart city needs such as improved mobile broadband coverage, energy efficiency, public safety, and sustainable solutions like electronic vehicle charging. The deployment will make bulk site acquisition possible in cities and supports mass deployment. The Ericsson solution will enable Bhopal to have a future-proof city network that can be used for different use cases including machine-to-machine communication.
These poles will be backed by 200 Kms optical fiber network –to be deployed by Bharti Infratel– that will connect government building and schools. The SPV plans to execute its smart school project through this network, which will also link all the bus stops. “Our global experience in deploying smart city solutions in different parts of the world coupled with our leadership in communications technology and services will enable us to successfully partner with BSCDCL in making Bhopal a true smart city,” Paolo Colella , Head of Region India , Ericsson, said in a statement to ET. Ericsson hopes to replicate success in the city in other Indian cities as well.
Shukla said that Bharti Infratel has taken an ISP license to deliver WiFi service across the city. Bharti Infratel declined to comment. The WiFi service will be launched once 50 poles are deployed in the city. The SPV plans to lease out these poles to telecom service providers with an aim to generate a steady revenue stream over a period of time. It also plans to monetise the WiFi service, which will be delivered through 400 hotspots and 1000 access points. “The 200 KMS optical fiber cable and digital signage system will be monetised as well,” Shukla said. The project also includes changing out of entire conventional lights of the city to LED light Both the companies have already deployed five such poles, and expect to deploy thirty poles by May-end. “The implementation will be done in nine-month period.”
These company are also setting up a control and command center for the management of components of the project. “Bhopal Smart City can serve as the model for other Smart Cities and expect other state governments to follow this model. We clearly see growth opportunities emerging with more data consumption and better coverage linked with fiber deployments and small cells in Bhopal. Ericsson had last year won its first deal in India in the utilities space. It is installing 15,000 smart meters in Assam over the next three years, for a public sector power company.