Nokia, Osram Partner for Indoor Radio Networks

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MUNICH, May 25, 2018 — Nokia Bell Labs and Osram Licht AG have teamed up to create a foundation for affordable, high-performance indoor radio networks.

In a joint initiative, the companies are exploring how ceiling luminaires can be used to create a tightly 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 cellphones and laptops to connect to the luminaire network and transmit data.”

The solution is easier to install than conventional Wi-Fi systems and enables many applications. Ceiling luminaires are installed close together in every building and can be connected to a future light-control and network-management system in office and industrial buildings. The system connects to a building’s communication access line, as with a fiber optics connection.

The concentrated and evenly distributed pattern of installed light sources prevents dead zones from occurring in the building. Affordable radio modules will increase the price only slightly compared to conventional office luminaires while performing better and generating lower costs than Wi-Fi access points and repeaters. In addition, these luminaires can be used for other services, including the collection of sensor data.

“At Bell Labs, we focus on solving difficult human challenges in our future connected world," said Peter Vetter, head of access research at Nokia Bell Labs. “Our disruptive 5G innovation brings distributed multiple-input multiple-output radio systems into existing dense lighting arrays and illuminates the entire enterprise with multi-gigabit capacity to solve future needs.

”Our light installations are getting smarter and smarter,” Müller said. “Presence detectors in office buildings can already be used to manage meeting rooms more efficiently and plan targeted cleaning as and when required. In retail stores, customers can be better addressed with the help of localized digital services.”

Osram’s semiconductor-based technologies are used in applications ranging from virtual reality to autonomous driving and from smartphones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. Nokia Bell Labs is the industrial research arm of telecommunications, IT, and consumer electronic company Nokia.

Published: May 2018
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