Connectivity in cities and device interference

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From communication networks to electronic devices, a smart city must ensure that all such equipment coexist without interference

The world has never been more connected than it is now, and the next few years are proof of that. With increasing access to the internet and new technological solutions emerging every day, a recent research by Cisco indicated that, in 2023, we will have three times more connected devices than people in the world. This represents, in numbers, 29.3 billion devices operating and transmitting data simultaneously.

The predictions don’t stop there. According to the technology company, more than 70% of the population will have access to mobile networks in 2023. It is not hard to imagine why we have reached such large numbers: when we talk about devices, we are mentioning a variety of devices, systems and equipment that are a vital part of our daily lives. Among the many examples we can mention personal gadgets, such as smartphones, watches and computers, and items that are essential for the functioning of a city, such as radars, temperature sensors and cameras.


But what few people know is that it takes a complex job to avoid interference between all those equipement. That is why we must talk about Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), which analyzes precisely their conformity. The discipline, which investigates how the technological systems of a city can exist together, has also the mission of transferring this knowledge to all professionals who will have contact with them, including technicians, entrepreneurs and public administrators.

To reinforce the importance of the subject, just remember our current pandemic context. In hospital environments, where many devices are responsible for maintaining the patient’s life, everything must work without interruption and without interference to ensure adequate assistance. This is the case of pulmonary ventilators (artificial respirators), who need to undergo numerous EMC tests to prove their credibility.

Knowing that cities must be prepared for an increasingly connected world, Bright Cities held a LIVE on its Youtube channel to discuss the topic. During the conversation we talked about the importance of Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and how all the connected infrastructure installed in a city – with emphasis on electrical, energy and communication systems – must be able to perform fast and efficient interactions in order to make all systems coexist. The relevance of technical standards to ensure regularization, coordinates and guidelines for the discipline was also addressed.

Together with Bright Cities CEO, Raquel Cardamone, the conversation also counted with the presence of Hermes Loschi, Control and Automation Engineer, Master in Electrical Engineering and currently a member of the SCENT Project, and Kelem Jordão, Hardware Compliance Engineering by IBM Brasil. To check everything that happened during our LIVE, the video is available on our Youtube channel (in portuguese only):


During the talk, the participants evaluated how the role of Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is even more relevant for smart cities, since a connected city must capture and transmit a series of data in record time. Today, Bright Cities has the largest database in the world in smart solutions, and with just a quick look at our platform you can discover thtat hundreds of technologies and ideas are changing our urban life through devices and platforms connected to the internet.

One of them is the Smart Pole System, developed by Sansi Electronic. Multifunctional, the installed poles are a fully integrated lighting system that connects information and communication technology between multiple parties through the use of real-system, data and sensors. The poles are also able to collect data related to atmospheric quality, noise and temperature, in addition to using security cameras to monitor public roads.


Bright Cities has more than 1,000 solutions registered in its database, and the number keeps growing. There are many options available, but a smart city must not only adopt them: it is also necessary to ensure that these technologies can coexist. As Hermes Loschi rightly says, the smart city needs to consider issues like EMC: “This interconnected systems infrastructure, which basically defines what a smart city is, is also primarily responsible for the occurrence of electromagnetic interference“.

According to the researcher, these interference phenomena were once felt at our own homes. In the 1990s, for example, it was very common to see how one household appliance interfered on others, to the point of making it impossible to turn them on simultaneously. Of course that, since then, a lot has changed and today we have more sophisticated electrical networks, but the same goes for the technologies that we have created: faster and more complex, the demands in energy and functioning have only increased.

Currently, we can classify these events in two categories: Conducted Electromagnetic Interference, which takes place through electrical conductors in direct contact with other sources and equipment, and Radiated Electromagnetic Interference, in which the disturbance spreads through the air through electromagnetic fields. From blenders and televisions, as in the first case, to objects that behave like antennas, as in the second, fortunately we can count today with many studies to evaluate and understand how these events occur.

In Brazil, companies like Anatel are responsible for producing resolutions and certifications for mobile terminals, cell phones, tablets and other telecommunication devices. One of them is Resolution No. 527 (in portuguese only), which addresses unwanted radiation caused by broadband systems. The same goes for a number of other products and services, which need to be approved by regulations and standards to be placed on the market.

Fundamental for ensuring our devices’ quality and safety, these standards are made by rules and procedures evaluated through extensive research and testing. One of the entities responsible for these tests is the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), author of the IEC 61000 family of standards, dedicated to general aspects about EMC. Brazil also counts with INMETRO, responsible for determining the standards and limits to be followed by manufacturers.

According to Kelem Jordão, standards and certifications will be increasingly important in the future. Since cities keep changing, more connected and intelligent than ever, the urban context started to generate an electromagnetic interference never seen before: “This new urban environment will demand regulations that meet this context and that, possibly (or certainly), will require new certifications for these products, considering different applications“, says.

Adopting new technologies and promoting the conscious use of all this equipment is an indispensable step for ensuring smarter cities. But, for this to happen, it is important that our managers have an adequate knowledge of all available technologies, their operation, quality and, of course, their possible consequences for EMC. That is why all technologies and urban solutions included in Bright Cities‘ database go through an extensive process of analysis and validation. Because these solutions have all been previously installed in other cities, our team of experts can measure the impact and efficiency of their technologies in different urban contexts!

To find out how we can help your city, in a safe and easy way, to become a smart city, visit our platform!