Philips & American Tower partner on 4G/5G-enabled smart light poles
By Anthony Capkun
September 13, 2017 – At Mobile World Congress Americas, Philips Lighting and American Tower Corp. announced an alliance to “accelerate the digital transformation of urban spaces and the adoption of smart city services” (in the United States).
“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 Corp. “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.”
The companies are developing a collocation-ready, 4G/5G-enabled LED smart light pole for use in roadways, streets and parking lots that aim to improve wireless broadband access in dense urban areas while providing connected LED lighting. In essence, the new smart pole is designed to take advantage of a city’s existing real estate to collocate services from multiple carriers in a single unit.
“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,” said Olivia Qiu, chief innovation officer at Philips Lighting. “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 range of capabilities into a form factor that “effortlessly blends into a variety of different cityscapes”. Equipped with a fully integrated antenna, the pole will accommodate a variety of radio configurations from various major OEMs. 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 streetlighting management system.