LA puts 4G wireless in streetlights

LA tops LED streetlights with 4G wireless

Residents of Los Angeles will soon have both brighter streets and better cell reception when the city installs new energy-efficient LED streetlights that do double duty as 4G LTE wireless access points. One hundred of these Philips SmartPole streetlights will be installed across LA in the first year, and 500 additional poles will be added over the next four years.

The units will be fitted with new small cell technology from Ericsson that will host mobile network operator equipment, improving mobile network performance and reducing urban clutter. Besides boosting wireless broadband coverage, the SmartPoles deployment is expected to encourage economic development and contribute to safer streets, fewer accidents and less crime.

And by leasing the valuable digital real estate atop city streetlight poles, the project will support itself. According to the mayor’s office, there will be no cost to tax payers, and ultimately hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue for the city.

“We are now taking advantage of previously untapped real estate to give our streets better broadband connectivity and future-ready infrastructure, while generating revenue for the city,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This project shows what smart infrastructure can do for Los Angeles: create jobs, save tax payer dollars and improve our environment."

The project is an expansion of a relationship between Philips and the city of Los Angeles. Earlier this year LA became the first city in North America to monitor and control its street lighting through Philips CityTouch, an advanced Philips streetlight asset management system that uses mobile and cloud-based technologies.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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