The World Exhibition EXPO, which was staged in Milan in 2015, already cast its shadow in 2011: as part of the safety concept for the large-scale event, the city representatives developed the idea of a universally usable, full-coverage fiber-optic network.

A2A, the second largest energy provider in Italy, had the task to implement this network with its subsidiary A2A Smart City, a pioneer in this field.
To find the device that could meet the scope of the project, A2A requested particular features for the industrial switch:

  • The device should be durable and robust
  • The switch should work over an extended temperature range
  • Video cameras and access points have to be supplied with electricity via the switches, so de PoE was mandatory
  • The large number of devices planned requires their simple, safe and reliable management.
  • Redundancy and bandwidth represent essential criteria for the choice, for this reason the switch should offer several fiber-optic ports, despite their compact dimensions

When the tender was published, CIE Telematica, remembering the success achieved with the city network developed with A2A in Brescia (~60Km from Milan) using Microsens devices, decided to offer the Microsens Profi Line series of Gigabit Ethernet switches.

The solution, extremely compact, flexible and robust, with 3 SFP slots each of which can be fitted with a Gigabit Ethernet fiber uplink to build ring and star configurations, was selected by A2A and won the tender.
The WiFi access points, emergency call pillars or video cameras were connected to the switches and powered via classical Ethernet ports, as required.

Installation and configuration process was easily managed by CIE, who well know Microsens products thanks to the long lasting partnership with the German vendor.

While the first step was to connect the main sites in the tourist centre of the city and schools, in a second moment it was also possible to dial into Open WiFi Milano in parks as far as 20 kilometres away from the city centre, installing numerous new lines beyond the existing fiber-optic lines, with 800 active network ports, 600 access points, as well as 800 video cameras.

The industrial switches were easily installed and managed, they’re still working smoothly, even in midsummer under extreme conditions considering the installation places. Most of them are installed into the street cabinet without air ventilation, many other into IP67 boxes in critical locations.
CIE Telematica with Microsens product has offered the right solution to provide reliable service to the wifi users in Milan and to the municipality and police for the video surveillance service.

In the future, the network will be expanded and used for other applications related to the Smart City: these include parking and traffic guide systems, as well as intelligent street lighting.