American Tower Corporation, a leader in wireless infrastructure, and Philips Lighting, the leader in lighting, announced in September an alliance to accelerate the digital transformation of urban spaces and the adoption of smart city services in the United States. The companies are developing a collocation ready, 4G/5G enabled LED smart light pole for use in roadways, streets and parking lots that will improve wireless broadband access in dense urban areas while also providing quality 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,” said Steven Marshall, President U.S. Tower, a division of American Tower Corporation. “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.”
According to Strategies Unlimited 2, less than 1 percent of the more than 44 million light poles on U.S. streets and roadways, are connected. The new smart pole is designed to take advantage of a city’s existing real estate and collocate services from multiple Wireless Carriers in a single pole. Cities are increasingly adopting smart city technology to improve the safety and quality of life for citizens and businesses. Smart poles are designed to help them deliver new and future digital applications including enhanced emergency services, acoustic sensing, air quality monitoring and autonomous vehicle navigation, to name a few.
“Lighting is an essential part of the urban landscape and one of the most valuable assets to help accelerate cities’ digital transformation,” said Olivia Qiu, Chief Innovation Officer at Philips Lighting. “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 design of the new smart pole will incorporate a wide range of technological capabilities into a sleek form factor that effortlessly blends into a variety of different cityscapes. Equipped with a state of the art, fully integrated antenna, the new smart pole will collocate multiple Wireless Carriers in a single structure and can accommodate a variety of radio configurations from various major OEMs. Multiple Wireless Carriers can easily install radio equipment including 4G and 5G small cell radio equipment with the plug-n-play design, all without adding urban clutter, changing the city landscape, or affecting the aesthetics of a neighborhood. Additionally, the lighting on each smart pole can be monitored and managed remotely to optimize energy savings and reduce maintenance costs using the Philips CityTouch connected street lighting management system.