The Connected Bus Stop
One of the well-received demonstrations that Cisco showed at MWC 2015 was: Cisco Internet of Everything: Solutions for SP Business Opportunity, aka the “Connected Bus Stop”. This demo prompted a lot of good discussion about what role Service Providers can play in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE). We summarized 4 areas for Service Providers to add value:
- Deliver Intelligent Connectivity over lower-cost, dynamically scalable virtualized networks
- Offer complete solutions and managed services in focused vertical segments
- Monetize new sources of analytics from aggregated and contextualized IoT data
- Provide provisioning, end-to-end device management, and added-value aligned to the business process productivity gains that customers seek from IoT.
Cisco’s approach to IoT encompasses an understanding of key business care-abouts and pain points, derived from our longstanding position as strategic solution partner to both IT and OT across vertical markets. Cisco has built a comprehensive IoT strategy, which includes Cisco solutions and strategic partners for analytics, security, vertical solutions, and integration. Cisco’s IoT solutions span many segments including Smart+Connected Cities, Transportation, Public Safety, Energy, Utilities, Manufacturing, and more.
So about that Connected Bus Stop? We showed a scenario based on real-world opportunities in which we are engaged. Why Bus stops? Firstly, in urban environments especially, bus stops are located at important location intervals for the distribution of IoT services. Secondly, bus stop shelters have an interesting business model in that they are primarily built and managed by private outdoor media companies, who enter into long-term leasing agreements with cities or transportation agencies. Bus stop shelters are attractive to advertisers – they are built just inches from the curb and are located on main roadways in the city at consumer destinations and in residential areas. They are highly visible to pedestrians and passing drivers. Typically a contract will involve thousands of bus stop shelters in a medium to large city. These outdoor media companies share a percentage of revenues from the bus shelter advertisements with the transportation agencies, which helps offset public transportation costs.
So what did our Connected Bus Stop Shelter include? We outfitted it with: a Cisco Meraki outdoor Wi-Fi AP; dynamic digital signage; a Multi-sensing Node with integrated accelerometer, motion detection, video surveillance, environmental sensors for temperature, humidity, air quality; a network-controllable connected LED light; and a Cisco ruggedized Mobile Gateway supporting 3G/LTE WAN connectivity and a rich set of IOS features for security, QoS, and high availability. With this configuration, we showed how the outdoor media company could partner with a Mobile Operator to both increase advertising revenues and lower maintenance costs.
On the revenue side, the solution enables the outdoor media company to collect from bus stop hotspot users a broad range of analytics such as presence, heatmaps for usage, dwell time, device types, etc. as well as profile the demographics and interests of bus stop visitors, and thus better monetize its Digital Signage Advertising. Outdoor media companies can sell this ad space at higher rates by matching up bus stop users to relevant Advertisers.
On the cost side, we showed how Operators can help the outdoor media company lower its operational and maintenance costs with video surveillance analytics to detect if there is any vandalism, graffiti, etc. in the shelter as well as to monitor the No Parking area in front of the bus stop with a Smart Parking solution. Furthermore, we showed how the Cisco Smart Lighting solution enables the outdoor media company to more effectively manage bus stop lighting to reduce energy and maintenance costs (e.g., dimming lights when there is no motion detected in the bus stop) while at the same time providing safety and lighting comfort to the visitors waiting in the bus stop.
In the demo, we also discussed the importance of supporting such solutions as the Connected Bus Stop with a virtualized mobile core network – which can dynamically scale capacity and functions while providing resources on demand for IoT deployments where network demand is unpredictable and where the Average Revenue per Connection (ARPC) is lower.
Click here to learn more about Cisco’s IoT solutions and how Service Providers can work with Cisco to deploy solutions that drive new revenue-generating, higher value-add IoT services.
To see what else Cisco announced, demonstrated, and delivered at MWC 2015, click here.
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