Videotron's Open-Air Smart Living Lab Initiates Wi-Fi SON Project and Picocell Deployment

Videotron's Open-Air Smart Living Lab Initiates Wi-Fi SON Project and Picocell Deployment Image Credit: Videotron

Videotron created open-air smart living laboratory has initiated a Wi-Fi SON (Self-Organizing Network) project that can transform traditional Wi-Fi access points into a smart network.

For this, Videotron is working with XCellAir to have the Wi-Fi terminals to be permanently connected to a cloud-based hub that anticipates and manages the wireless connections of one or more users or things without human intervention in order to provide a seamless experience. 

The initiative which also includes Ericsson, École de technologie supérieure (ETS) and the Quartier de l’innovation(QI), kick starts another project that involves the installation in a real-life environment of a large number of picocells, developed by Ericsson and deployed by Videotron. 

A picocell is a small LTE cellular base station that covers a limited area, such as a building or basement. Picocells provide uninterrupted connectivity regardless of signal source or strength and network traffic. They are a simple and effective way to densify network coverage and do not contribute to the proliferation of conventional antennas on the urban landscape.

A smart network consisting of Wi-Fi terminals, picocells and LoRa antennas is currently being rolled out in the ÉTS student dorms and within the perimeter of the QI. The smart dorms project and the development of various types of sensors will create a "smart home" experience for students, in which the entire environment is managed using analysis of data from the various everyday objects present in the building.

Ericsson's AppIoT accelerator, a platform that stores information in the cloud prior to analysis, is now installed and fully functional. AppIoT is based on data analysis, a central pillar of the Laboratory. It provides a full set of functionalities to support the creation and rapid roll-out of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

These projects are paving the way for the deployment in the near future of other technologies at the Open Sky Laboratory for Smart Life that will raise Montréal's profile as a connected smart city. For example, projects involving proximity sensing, smart water control and management for public toilets, and Li-Fi wireless light communication are currently under development.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at), or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma


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