ER-Telecom provides services related to cable and HD television, internet access and digital telephony. The holding company was established in 2001 and is active in 566 cities and localities of Russia. In recent years, the company made an active effort to integrate innovative solutions, such as multiscreen, catch-up and video-on-demand services, into its products. Its goal is to provide customers with an expansive range of opportunities for customization, like, for instance, by allowing them to create their own service plans.

ER-Telecom and ITMO University have decided on the core areas of their collaboration, which are research and education. The partners plan to work together on training highly-qualified specialists and to develop and launch continuing vocational education programs. In the future, students of ITMO University will have the opportunity to intern at ER-Telecom facilities in St. Petersburg.

As for scientific endeavors, ER-Telecom is interested, first and foremost, in developing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for urban application using the LoRaWAN protocol. This data transfer protocol is used in large-scale, low power-consumption networks; these networks have an extremely high capacity and may support up to a million devices at the same time. LoRaWAN is great for IoT use as it can track a multitude of battery-powered mobile devices, meaning that it is power-efficient, while its algorithms ensure a sufficiently high data transfer speed. ER-Telecom is also interested in developing urban IoT solutions based on fiber optics and mobile communications.

How can IoT be used in smart-city technologies? These technologies can be used to remotely manage parking space capacity, adjust streetlights based on light sensor data, or keep track of the state of culturally significant objects. Smart sensors can also help ensure the safety of structures, such as bridges, monitor the removal of waste from the city and the environmental conditions. Many applications of IoT will be useful to many citizens personally – these are, above all, smart-house technologies.

ER-Telecom, therefore, is in need of intelligent solutions on implementation of IoT technologies. The company has expressed interest in using some of the university’s existing projects, as well as collaborating on the creation of new applied technologies.

Vladimir Vasilyev and Andrey Kuzyaev

The company’s choice of partner university was also greatly influenced by the fact that ITMO University’s Rector, Vladimir Vasilyev, is head of the project office of the “Smart St. Petersburg” initiative.

“Active development of digital economy in cities is impossible if we don’t develop advanced technologies and create an innovative infrastructure that would fully satisfy the needs of citizens and businesses. A strategic partnership with ITMO University, known as a top national research center in IT and optics, is a step towards enhancing our competencies and improving our efficiency and competitive ability. We are confident that this collaboration will provide our company with highly-qualified staff, help us develop and introduce cutting-edge scientific projects with greater efficiency and will have a positive effect on our innovative projects and development programs,” – said Andrey Kuzyaev, head of ER-Telecom.

Mr. Kuzyaev also added that the partners plan to draft a roadmap, which will outline the specifics of this partnership’s development, by February of 2018.

“It’s important for ITMO to establish partnerships with the key players on the ICT market. Not only does this open up new opportunities for our students to study in corporate Master’s programs and help our partners, but it also lets us approach complex scientific challenges related to ICT technology with utmost efficiency. Today, the most vital contribution to the university’s development is the attraction of intellectual and human resources of our partner companies, and it will help us secure leading positions on future markets for the university and its partners alike,” – commented Rector Vladimir Vasilyev.