Smart pole on a city street

Going Green with Smart Wireless Sites

Putting the green in smart cities is all about optimizing what people see and what they don’t see.

Going green is all about the ability to efficiently deliver improved services and applications, with aesthetically pleasing wireless solutions.

By going green with smart street lighting, smart cities create a very visible improvement in lighting. Going green with smart wireless sites is about deploying a virtually invisible infrastructure to enable smart city applications.

Smart poles, co-developed by American Tower and Philips Lighting, provide energy-efficient LED street lighting and keep wireless antennas out-of-sight, addressing both requirements. They blend seamlessly into the cityscape bringing smart city capabilities to street level and are almost invisible to residents and visitors who are used to seeing light fixtures.

Smarter Infrastructure for Greener, Smarter Cities

Smart poles are designed to take advantage of existing street light locations and power feeds. They’re not additional infrastructure. They’re smarter infrastructure for greener, smarter cities.

A single smart pole can support multiple mobile network operators. This eliminates the need for every operator to install individual poles, antennas and fiber as they try to support more people and more services in denser urban environments. Less infrastructure requires less energy to power, consumes less physical space and creates less visual clutter.

The wireless antennas are integrated and enclosed in a smart pole to hide in plain sight and bring critical wireless coverage to the street level, driving smart city services that contribute to additional green initiatives, such as:

  • Intelligent transit solutions that keep cars off the road and people moving
  • Fleet management applications that reduce fuel consumption and operating hours for city vehicles
  • Connected traffic lights and smart parking applications that reduce road congestion and pollution
  • Energy, water and gas metering and management applications that optimize use of resources

Efficient Deployments

Unlike many infrastructure projects, which can tie up city staff and traffic, an industrialized approach to smart pole deployments helps to minimize disruption:

  • Master license agreements provide access to key site locations and are a key vehicle to streamline processes and facilitate the deployment of ubiquitous broadband.
  • Cluster permitting for multiple smart pole deployments at a time means city staff are relieved of many administrative burdens.
  • The form factor and location allow for an abbreviated environmental analysis.
  • Seasoned experts install smart poles quickly to keep people and traffic moving and to minimize the number of city resources required to support the project.

Future-Ready

Smart poles are designed to be part of a cityscape for more than 20 years. They are essential infrastructure for today’s connectivity needs and can easily support 5G, sensors and other IoT applications in the future, without the need to deploy new infrastructure.

A Plug-And-Play Solution

Smart poles also help mobile network operators with their green initiatives. They gain ready access to the wireless technology needed to deliver more advanced and higher-quality services, but save the time, money and effort associated with purchasing, installing and maintaining physical resources.

Connected Lighting

Smart poles provide the infrastructure needed to go green. They include energy-efficient LED street lights that allow cities to save in energy costs, as compared to traditional lighting. Remote outdoor light management offers an additional opportunity for cities to gain new efficiencies, and the LED lights in smart poles can be remotely managed, giving cities far more control.

Learn more on how our smart poles can help cities achieve their green initiatives with connected LED lighting.
Jenna Metznik is Director, Regulatory Compliance at American Tower. She can be reached at jenna.metznik@americantower.com. Michael Blanchette, Regulatory Compliance Specialist – Environmental, was a contributing member of this blog post; he can be reached at michael.blanchette@americantower.com.
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