Parking provider turns to secure M2M connectivity
Global-leading parking solutions provider parks fixed line communication and turns to mobile connectivity for rapid and secure deployments across the UK
- Smart Parking take advantage of secure mobile connectivity for their growing portfolio of parking management solutions
- Significant savings made as ‘ready-made’ secure VPN is deployed
- Wireless Logic selected as connectivity partner with an overlay of value-added services
Parking control... a Smart business
Smart Parking (www.smartparking.com) is a world leader in the design, development and management of parking technology. In just over 10 years, the global organisation has transformed the parking experience and improved parking compliance for a broad range of public-sector and privately-owned parking operations across all corners of the globe.
Smart Parking management solutions include: Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR); Pay & Display solutions; Disabled, Parent & Child (DPC) enforcement, and Parking Attendant/Marshalling resources for short and long-term programmes. And in a cutting-edge move that puts real-time parking choice firmly in the palm of a driver’s hand, the innovative SmartPark solution which includes parking bay sensor technology, smartphone parking apps, RFID permit solutions and Pay & Walk ticketless systems is now being rolled out across a growing number of Local Authorities and businesses.
Smart Parking are re-mapping the entire parking experience that enables carpark operators to optimise, monitor and enforce space management in real-time.
A vital element of the Smart Parking delivery is the need to have resilient, always-on connectivity between the site and central management. With ANPR technology it is essential that secure two-way communication can operate seamlessly across all locations. In earlier installations, the organisation had used fixed-line solutions which would typically require a six-week notice period and involve associated costs for the install and making good. As Smart Parking’s Technical Director Lewis Johnson explains, a more efficient solution was required: “As our roll-out programmes gathered pace, the limitations of DSL deployment became apparent. We needed to explore alternatives.”
A fast, secure and tailored connectivity solution
Considering cellular connectivity for Smart Parking seemed a logical route and there followed a series of initial placements with notable success. But to establish a more seamless, one-stop solution to country-wide sites, the organisation approached M2M Managed Services provider Wireless Logic to deliver a tailored answer. As an agnostic and specialist connectivity provider, the team at Wireless Logic set about the task to meet a number of key objectives for the Smart Parking communication platform. With fixed-IP for two-way device interrogation, the ability to aggregate data charges across multiple SIMs, and the need to have real-time visibility and data-usage across the entire SIM estate, Wireless Logic were able to produce the required solution utilising their suite of management tools and private infrastructure services.
Explaining more, Justin Godfrey-Cass, Business Development Manager for Wireless Logic continues: “Smart Parking had already identified the benefits of mobile connectivity. But in approaching Wireless Logic, they were able to access a further layer of services which could not be easily accessed from the Mobile Networks directly. Our ability to assign a static IP across all SIMs was important to the Smart Parking team as was the utilisation of our Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) ‘NetPro’. As a ready-made and resilient dual failover VPN, NetPro allowed Smart Parking to make considerable savings as CAPEX costs were avoided.”
One platform to control multiple SIM-based sites. Securely
All Mobile Networks used by Smart Parking route through NetPro, which in turn enables Wireless Logic’s SIM provisioning and management platform ‘SIMPro’ to deliver one-window to all SIMs visibility for real-time usage and operational status. SIMPro allows the Smart Parking team to manage and tailor the way each SIM is billed in line with their internal processes. Additionally, with aggregation, data usage can be carefully managed across multiple grouped SIMs ensuring costs are controlled at all times.
In less than a year, the relationship has seen over 100 deployments, predominantly using the EE Mobile Network. With parking solutions spreading far and wide, the need to use several networks is now becoming necessary, particularly in cases of weaker signal strength. “Recently, we’ve used O2 Global for sites in Ireland,” explains Paul Carnegie of Smart Parking. “With the ability for self-provisioning via the SIMPro platform across all of the major Mobile Networks, we are able to carry multiple network SIMs and where necessary, select the best network when on site and go live.”
Mobile connectivity delivers multiple benefits
Secure two-way communication has also been essential through the assigned static IP to each location. With lower overall deployment costs by using mobile connectivity, the ability to interrogate specific sites via the VPN has saved man hours as planned and responsive tasks such as remote rebooting have reduced the demand to send out maintenance teams. As new carparks are connected week on week, the need to ensure connectivity is right first time, every time, has never been greater.
And with further opportunities as more Local Authorities select on-street applications to create better traffic and parking environments for visitors and residents, the future looks bright for Smart Parking. “We are pleased with how Wireless Logic has approached our requirements and tailored their range of services to dovetail into our operation,” concludes Smart Parking’s Paul Carnegie. “As a technology enabler, we are taking advantage of the digital world to help organisations and public bodies to better manage an increasing car-based population.”