Los Angeles is the world’s first city to deploy Philips’ SmartPole street lighting with fully built in 4G LTE wireless technology from Ericsson. The collaboration between Philips and Ericsson delivers on the latest Internet of Things (IoT) innovation and provides a double benefit to LA citizens: high quality, public lighting that is energy efficient, as well as improved network performance in dense urban areas.

“The humble, analog light pole has evolved and we made it happen first, right here in Los Angeles,” said Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles. “LA is a world leader in LEDs street lights and has more street lights and poles than any other city in America, with about 6,500 centerline miles of streets. We are now leveraging that previously untapped real estate to give our streets cleaner visibility, better broadband connectivity, and future-ready infrastructure. This implementation, which we’ve only just started, is a prime example of what a focus on smart infrastructure, and creative public-private partnerships can achieve.”

With cellular data traffic expected to grow 9 times by 2020, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report, and current telecoms infrastructure struggling to respond to this demand, Philips SmartPoles are enabling seamless mobile wireless 4G/LTE connectivity, with the small cell technology from Ericsson housed in the poles to enable increased data capacity in the telecoms network. The poles were specifically designed and tested to accept FCC licensed wireless mobile network operator equipment. This enables an alternative deployment methodology of 4G LTE broadband services.

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson, said: “LA will be a role model for other smart cities that place sustainability and connectivity high on their agenda. As citizens, businesses and industries transform through mobility, cities have an increasingly important role to play as eco-system partners enabling the next wave of innovations that will bring us to 5G in 2020. Innovative solutions like SmartPole and Ericsson Zero Site that efficiently improve the performance of mobile networks will be necessary to address the growing demand from both smartphone users and the Internet of Things.”

For cellular phone operators, this innovation can offer them new possibilities to find the right site location. It also helps scale mobile wireless 4G/LTE infrastructure deployment beyond traditional sites. As a result operators can improve data coverage and capacity for citizens so there are no more signal dropouts.

Amy Huntington, President of Philips Lighting Americas said: “This SmartPole technology proves its role as the backbone of an outdoor Internet of Things platform capable of delivering new services and value and fully supports Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets program by taking LED street lighting and turning it into a services hub that can adapt to the changing needs of a particular neighborhood over time.”