Philips Lighting and Ericsson jointly introduced today a new smart pole, Philips lightpole site slim, targeted initially at European cities. Philips lightpole site combines Philips' energy efficient LED lighting with Ericsson's leading small cell technology for high-speed broadband connectivity.
The Philips lightpole site resembles the familiar street lightpole shape used across Europe, making it an unobtrusive addition to the cityscape, which increases LTE/ 4G network coverage. The compact size was made possible by co-developed integrated antennas in the lightpoles and Ericsson's small cell outdoor radios.
With cellular data traffic expected to grow 9 times by 2020, mobile network operators are struggling to acquire new cell sites in public areas to provide the best possible mobile broadband coverage and capacity for their customers. By renting space in the smart poles, they are able to densify their networks so that citizens can enjoy both safely lit streets and better smartphone data capacity.
Nishant Batra, head of network infrastructure products at Ericsson says: "Philips lightpole site, with fully integrated Ericsson small cells, enables mobile operators to deploy dozens or hundreds of cell sites quickly and easily, making it possible to upgrade large areas with minimal disruption while delivering superior outdoor connectivity and app coverage to their subscribers."
The Philips lightpole site integrates into any streetscape with minimal visual impact and is available in various heights, colours and styles. Different types of luminaires can be placed at different positions and heights on the pole in order to maintain a consistent illumination pattern on the streets. This also means it can be added to complement existing lightpoles without having to renew the whole area. The lighting can also be controlled remotely using the cloud-based Philips CityTouch street lighting management system, which helps drive further energy efficiencies.
"The digital transformation of public spaces is accelerating rapidly - from historic town centres to neighbourhoods to large urban areas. Today's civic leaders want to meet the needs of the people they serve by creating connected, protected environments that are smart and efficient today, and that take advantage of all emerging technologies in the future," said Christoph Herzig, head of venture at Philips Lighting. "Street lighting has the potential to become a ubiquitous, high-performing wireless network that is essential for any city's digital transformation. Think of it as digital real estate that can be rented out."
In addition to broadband network services, the light poles can accommodate other equipment for a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. This allows cities and network providers to provide smart, advanced capabilities that go beyond illumination, including sensors.