Global wireless infrastructure leader American Tower Corp. and Philips Lighting, a global leader in its respective industry, recently announced they would work together to accelerate the digital transformation of urban spaces and the adoption of smart city services in the United States.
Together, American Tower Corp. and Philips Lighting are developing a 4G/5G enabled LED smart light pole that’s collocation ready. The pole’s use will range from roadways, streets and parking lots. The goal will be to improve dense, urban areas’ wireless broadband access while at the same time, provide energy-efficient connected LED lighting.
“As the demand for wireless broadband continues to grow in urban centers, wireless carriers need a repeatable, scalable way to densify networks fast,” Steven Marshall, President U.S. Tower, a division of American Tower Corporation said in a released statement. “Our alliance with Philips Lighting brings Wireless Carriers access to premium pre-approved sites, with a smart pole that aesthetically blends into urban locations, delivering wireless broadband hidden in plain sight.”
Currently, less than 1% of the 44 million light poles on the streets and roadways in the U.S. are connected, according to Strategies Unlimited. American Tower and Philips’ design is geared to leverage a city’s current real estate and the combine services of multiple wireless carriers into one pole.
The announcement comes at an ideal time as more cities are adopting smart city technology in an effort to provide a safer and higher quality of life for both residents and businesses. Smart poles can also help deliver new and future digital applications such as enhanced emergency services, air quality monitoring and autonomous vehicle navigation.
“Lighting is an essential part of the urban landscape and one of the most valuable assets to help accelerate cities’ digital transformation,” Olivia Qiu, Chief Innovation Officer at Philips Lighting also said in a released statement. “Combining Philips Lighting’s energy-efficient and connected LED street lighting with American Tower’s shared infrastructure expertise will help speed up a city’s ability to deploy new technologies that improve public safety and civic services. Our alliance with the largest provider of wireless infrastructure in the U. S. will support the growth of our street lighting business in this important market.”
The new smart pole will also be designed so that while it includes numerous technological capabilities, it’ll be sleek enough that it can blend in with a multitude of different city layouts. The fully integrated antenna will allow the smart pole to hold multiple wireless carriers in one structure.
These carriers will also be able to install radio equipment such as 4G and 5G-radio equipment with plug-n-play design. These installations will be able to be made without much disruption, whether it be adding urban clutter or changing a neighborhood’s aesthetics. To save energy and decrease maintenance costs, all smart poles can be monitored and managed remotely. The remote handling is made possible by the Philips CityTouch connected street lighting management system.
American Tower and Philips Lighting will put the technology on display at the 2017 Mobile World Congress America’s September 12 to September 14 at the Moscone Center, Hall North, stand N. 108 in San Francisco.