Osram, Nokia Bell developing 5G network solution in luminaires
By Anthony Capkun
May 10, 2018 – Nokia Bell Labs and Osram have teamed up to create “the foundation of affordable, high-performance indoor radio networks”. In their joint initiative, the partners are exploring how ceiling luminaires can be used to create an integrated interior radio network with 5G capabilities.
“Our office and industrial luminaires are already networked for remote control,” said Thorsten Müller, head of Innovation at Osram. “In this R&D project, we equipped them with special broadband radio modules, allowing mobile devices like cell phones and laptops to connect to the luminaire network and transmit data.”
The new solution is much easier to install than conventional Wi-Fi systems, claim the partners. The concentrated and evenly distributed pattern of installed light sources prevents dead zones from occurring in the building. The ceiling luminaires can then be connected to a light control and network management system in buildings by connecting to the facility’s communication access line (e.g. fiber optics connection).
The radio modules will increase the price “only slightly” compared to conventional office luminaires. They also perform better and will generate lower costs than Wi-Fi access points and repeaters, boast Osram and Nokia Bell. These new luminaires can also be used for other services, like the collection of sensor data.
The newly developed radio luminaires can be integrated into Osram’s IoT (internet of things) platform, Lightelligence, as supplemental sources of sensor data.