Alliance with Philips Lighting

How our new smart pole will benefit wireless carriers and cities in the U.S.

Today, American Tower and Philips Lighting announced a new alliance that will be a key enabler of digital transformation and smart city services in the U.S. Together we will develop an aesthetically designed smart pole that delivers wireless network coverage and energy-efficient LED lighting, while blending easily into the city landscape.

We’re excited about this because it provides wireless carriers access for fast small cell deployment in prime urban locations; it has the potential to cut energy costs significantly for cities, while enabling smart apps to improve public safety and civic services; and city dwellers and visitors alike will see an improved quality of connected life-on-the-go.

As consumers, we are using more data every day as we stream and download content on our wireless devices. A big challenge for wireless carriers is meeting our demands for faster mobile data transmission. To boost density of current and future, 5G networks, carriers need access to hundreds of thousands of sites.

With our smart poles, this kind of deployment at scale is not only possible, but efficient, as the “plug-and-play” design allows the collocation of multiple carriers on single poles with built-in shared antennas. Additionally, pre-approved zoning and permitting will be secured on clusters of sites. Smart poles also allow flexible evolution to future technologies, such as 5G, 3.5GHz, millimeter wave and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Conventional street lighting can account for as much as 40% of a city’s total energy budget, and by switching to LED, it’s estimated they can save more than 30% in energy costs.* And smart poles will simplify things on the administrative side by funneling requests by multiple carriers into a single point of contact.

Strategically, smart poles offer a wireless connectivity platform that will transform today’s urban environments into smart cities. This vision entails a new spectrum of smart city applications powered by millions of IoT sensors that can improve operations of city services and enhance the quality of life.

If you’re in San Francisco this week for Mobile World Congress, please come to our Booth #N.108 and learn more about our alliance and smart poles. Sign up below for alerts about new blog posts as well.

*Smart Cities conversations by Philips Lighting Vasanth Philomin, Philips Lighting June 2016

Patrice McAree is Vice President of Innovation at American Tower Corporation. He can be reached at
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