By Ray Le Maistre, Aug 6, 2021
- Network operators will need to densify their 5G networks
- ‘Street furniture’ such as light poles will play a key role
- Early examples are already operational
- Regulators, cities and vendors are working to make deployments possible
As mobile operators densify their radio access networks to put 5G’s capabilities to their full use, ‘street furniture’ – in particular street lighting infrastructure – is set to play an increasingly important role in enabling that, as well as providing lots of other smart city/IoT capabilities.
Using street lights as a way to deploy wireless access infrastructure is not new, but it’s also not that widespread, and is only just starting to play a role in 5G expansion plans. As it happens, this development comes at a time when cities are increasingly deploying more efficient LED lighting infrastructure that is well suited to housing smart city-enabling technology, including small cells and Wi-Fi access points.