Philips Lighting has teamed with a $5.8 billion provider of communication towers and other transmission real estate to develop a “smart street pole” that houses cellular gear for 4G and 5G phone and broadband service while also connecting lighting and other smart city operations to those networks.
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The alliance between the world's largest lighting company and Boston-based American Tower Company marks the latest example of how the lighting industry is pushing hard into information and communications technology in order to secure a future that links lighting into Internet of Things (IoT) schemes.
“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
,” Philips and American Tower said in a joint press release.
Light poles that house cellular transmitters can avoid “adding urban clutter, changing the city landscape, or affecting the aesthetics of a neighborhood,” the companies noted.
While American Tower is known for housing gear for cellular, television,and radio networks on conventional towers, it also specializes in finding other real estate, such as rooftops, on which to place such equipment. The company operates as a REIT, or real estate investment trust. It claims to have around 148,000 communications sites.