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Telecoms giant collaborates on blockchain solution to enable future smart cities

Orange and Smartkey are unveiling what claims to be the first Blockchain-of-Thing Sim card, designed to enable access control and other smart city functions to be managed on a phone.

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The first use case for the partnership will take place in the city of Olsztyn
The first use case for the partnership will take place in the city of Olsztyn

Telecoms company Orange and emergent blockchain technology company Smartkey are unveiling a blockchain-based smart cities solution.

 

What claims to be the first Blockchain-of-Thing (BoT) Sim card is designed to enable access control and other smart city functions to be managed on a phone.

 

Live in 80 Polish cities

 

The technology will go live in more than 80 cities in Poland that are already using Orange smart city facilities and are integrated with the global Live Objects IoT platform which will be extended around blockchain technology. It aims to create a universal standard, through Smartkey, to enable Blockchain-IoT Sim cards to operate the smart city of the future.


The first use case for the partnership will be an extension of Smartkey’s Rescue without Barriers pilot. This involved rescue services in Olsztyn, Poland, using Smartkey to gain immediate access to every secure district and building in the area, reportedly greatly cutting down response times and saving lives.

 

Hospital barriers and other gates and entrances open when a rescue vehicle, whose team uses the Smartkey solution, approaches. This is one of many examples of possible applications of the access control function based on blockchain and connectivity within the licensed operator band and paves the way for Orange to be the first global operator to use blockchain to enable the smart cities of the future.

“We also need an infrastructure that connects IoT technology with the end user, and this is what blockchain provides”

“Smart devices are not a new idea. Already over two million M2M cards from Orange work, among others, in such devices throughout Poland,” said Sebastian Grabowski, director of IoT and advanced technologies at Orange.

 

“However, even a wide range of such devices does not create a network in itself, just as a collection of houses does not create a city. We also need an infrastructure that connects IoT technology with the end user, and this is what blockchain provides.”

 

The Live Objects platform is already being used to manage various city services, such as remote reading of water meters or street lighting control. Thanks to the integration, it is possible to register devices with an Orange Sim card in the blockchain network and to generate and distribute Smart NFT access keys in the publicly available Smartkey blockchain network.

 

Universal standard

 

By using Smartkey technology as a universal standard this can also be applied to any Orange IoT device worldwide.

 

The companies claim that the specificity of blockchain technology (based on the so-called decentralised applications dApps) and Orange network security standards, prevent unauthorised use of the virtual key. On the other hand, the flexibility of the Smartkey technology means that it can be used in a variety of urban and commercial services, for example in parking lots, on transport, including micromobility, loading and refuelling vehicles, and distributed energy.

 

“To enable Blockchain of Things devices to operate within the smart city of the future, we created a universal communication standard to connect devices over short distances,” added Szymon Fiedorowicz, CEO and co-founder of Smartkey.

 

“This cooperation with Orange, the leader of urban IoT services in Poland, will help our solution become a connective tissue for smart cities and cement our role in the smart city of the future and open up a world of new possibilities of using the Internet of Things.”

 

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