Philips and Ericsson, two of the biggest tech giants in recent years, have joined forces to upgrade regular street lights to “smart”. One hundred of their new generation street lighting systems called SmartPoles, will be installed across the city of Los Angeles, the lucky first city in the world.
SmartPoles integrate LED lights from Philips, and 4G LTE wireless telecommunications technology from Ericsson. With these, city dwellers will not only get energy efficient light, but they will also receive a boost in their network coverage. Ericsson’s small cell technology, which provides the 4G output, will be connected with a fiber link to a core network.
In this way, the poles will act as both eco-friendly lighting systems, and mobile operators, sparing the need of additional infrastructure for antenna and radio gear. In a way, they are a cross between a cellphone tower and an energy efficient street light.
SmartPoles are expected to cut down electricity usage by the incredible 70%, in comparison to traditional street lights. What is more, they will bring additional profit to the city as mobile operators will rent the space in the poles to increase data capacity or density of their networks.
According to the mayor of LA, SmartPoles technology will bring quite a substantial boost of revenue for the city, while providing a much better service for the citizens. The cost of maintenance will be lower, and the monitoring process will be much easier and cheaper.
LA will receive most of the SmartPole lights in the coming 3-4 months, while the rest should be in place within a year. Over the next four years, the city will install additional 500 smart lights, and by 2018 they plan to have 600 in full operation.
Image (c) Philips