September 22, 2021
According to the UN, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. As part of this, the number of smart cities is expected to grow by double digits over the coming years.
By combining data and digital technology, “smart” cities can improve key quality-of-life indicators by 10 to 30 percent. A critical enabler will be the connectivity needed to bring interactivity to the daily lives of its residents, often via their smartphones.
Cities today face the challenge of swiftly adapting to the demand for denser networks for better connectivity and services. Installing additional network towers is often not a solution due to location constraints, capital expenditures, visual clutter created and the cost to the environment. Also, legacy infrastructure often lacks standardised solutions ready for city-wide WiFi, camera and sensor deployment, hindering future upgrades and add-on.
Offering quick and easy wins, converting existing streetlights to smart poles with enhanced IoT capabilities is a great starting point. Smart poles mark the evolution of streetlights from being a municipal cost liability to a potential revenue-earning connectivity hub. These new-age street poles can turbo-charge a city, converting existing lighting infrastructure into a hub of digital services for citizens.
At Signify, we have pioneered how street lighting technology can radically expand this possibility. BrightSites by Signify, our new end-to-end solution, delivers on this promise, transforming lighting infrastructure into a platform for communication networks and smart city applications. This solution accelerates the deployment of present and future IoT broadband applications such as 5G, WiFi, and smart city services through the existing lighting infrastructure – without compromising the cityscape.
By using smart poles to optimise the city, authorities can reap several benefits – from better transport and eased congestion, smart refuse and recycling, saving electricity, connecting the last mile of a city - the possibilities are broad. Moreover, better connectivity opens access to essential services like better healthcare services or education for developing regions. Consistent connectivity, made possible by smart poles, forms the backbone of any smart city.