gridlux is the Startup of the Week 9: Quick identification of attractive fibre expansion areas


IT & ICT

In the long term, there is no way around the expansion of fiber optic networks. However, the identification of potential expansion areas for fiber optics has so far involved considerable effort. Estimating the associated costs is also not a quick matter. Artificial intelligence can help here. The solution for that comes from our startup of the week, gridlux. Lukasz Glowacki, Business Development Manager at gridlux, told us in an interview how their product works exactly.

Hello Lukasz! The fiber optic expansion occupies municipalities, regions and even the federal level. The planning is very complex. How do you find a remedy with gridlux?

By means of artificial intelligence gridlux identifies interesting areas for an efficient FTTH / FTTB (Fiber to the home / Fiber to the basement) extension automatically and makes them comparable by means of an effort indication.

How is this information provided?

Our online tool is a software-as-a-service solution that can simply be accessed via an URL. Based on AI-supported algorithms, we automatically identify interesting areas for an economical FTTH / FTTB expansion. With the effort indication the areas can be compared with each other.

Why is gridlux’ idea special? How do you stand out?

The entire planning process, including the identification of potential development areas, is very complicated and expensive. Our procedure makes the rough planning simple and understandable. We enable the client to take an active role and make future expansion decisions based on data and facts – and thus gain competitive advantages. In addition, our intuitive online tool enables real-time expenditure indication, e.g. for municipalities and counties (funding procedures).

The use of artificial intelligence has many advantages. Basically you can say that we digitize the strategic rough planning process with the use of AI supported algorithms. Many telecommunications companies and planning offices use standard software tools for planning, such as AutoCAD or Google Earth. However many result lists still have to be created manually. Another advantage is the time component. The conventional process takes a lot of time. Our developed algorithms calculate even large areas in seconds. As a result, this reduces costs and increases planning reliability. Furthermore, gridlux is more comfortable than the common software solutions. Why? Because all relevant data such as addresses, streets, surface type and use, socio-economic data or the availability of connections are part of the online tool. You no longer have to buy data and import them into your software at great expense.

You have just mentioned that you offer your online tool as a Software-as-a-Service service. Is it the only product you have in your portfolio?

No, actually our portfolio consists of two products.

On the one hand, the mentioned online tool for the effort indication and development of new areas. We charge an annual license fee for the tool.

On the other hand, there is the “Strategic Rough Planning Service”, in which we use artificial intelligence to identify and automatically calculate interesting development areas. Here we provide our customers with a ranking list of the most attractive areas, even for very large areas. The price is calculated from the number of address points that are to be calculated.

Do you keep a broad target group? Or did you narrow it down to one specific customer group?

Not necessarily. The solution is interesting for different target groups. In principle, it’s for all parties involved in the planning process of a fiber optic expansion project, for example, telecom carriers / telecommunications companies, public utilities, planning offices, cities and municipalities. Currently we offer our solution only for the German market.

In which phase is gridlux currently in? Is your product already in use?

At the moment, we are still an internal startup of EWE AG. Already, we have won our first customers for our services and are working on completing our online tool in this quarter. We were able to use our solution together with a major telecommunications provider (EWE TEL) and save the company a seven-figure sum. entega Medianet GmbH commissioned the calculation for a large city. We are confident that the solution will convince them and that we will then receive another major contract. In addition to that, we are  in further promising discussions with telecommunications network operators, planning offices and local authorities.

Lukasz, unfortunately we have already reached the end of the interview. We thank you, for the great interview and wish you good luck with the completion of the online tool! If people want to learn more about gridlux, have a look at the Innoloft profile and the corresponding requests.

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