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Street lights are valuable city assets that can enable various smart city services and Internet of Things strategies. A vast array of connected devices and services turn today’s cities into smart hubs. One of these applications has been the use of light poles for purposes that are much more than lighting. A streetlight can also be an environmental monitoring station, a WiFi hotspot, a charging station for electric vehicles, or an ideal site to position security or traffic management cameras.

Smart poles can increase urban efficiency, while at the same time keep the clutter of street furniture to a minimum. Because they can incorporate software controls, and sensors that can receive and transmit information, they support all kinds of smart city applications. One of the powerful drivers of this process will be the 5G revolution. elaborates on five cities getting a head start on smart poles.

  • Huntington Beach, California, US – This will be the first city to deploy Smart Fusion Poles, developed by partners Philips Lighting and American Tower Corporation (ATC). The poles will be rolled out in 200 existing light pole locations across the city, and act not just as high-quality LED lamp posts, but also as concealed antennas for increased wireless broadband connectivity.
  • Sydney, Australia – With the recent switch-on of 40 Smart Node poles across the Sydney Harbour foreshore on, millions of annual visitors to the city’s Royal Botanic Garden and Domain will now have access to free high-speed Wi-Fi. The Garden worked with telecoms company Optus and Smart Node maker Ene.Hub to deliver the infrastructure. Each Smart Node includes energy-efficient LED lighting and beacons, general-purpose power points, and electric vehicle charge points.
  • New Delhi, India – The municipal council has embarked on a smart pole project to provide LED lighting, Wi-FI connectivity, air pollution sensors, and CCTV cameras.
  • According to the municipal council, these 9-12 meter high poles, being installed on a private/public partnership model, will provide robust coverage of the area with real-time data related to environment, traffic, security and other useful information.
  • Dubai, UAE – The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) signed a deal with French lighting company Ragni Group to design and implement smart lighting poles, to support Dubai’s development of smart city infrastructure. According to DEWA, the smart poles will support “smart and green mobility, autonomous driving, Wi-Fi, Internet of Things, energy-saving lighting, environmental intelligence, etc.
  • Hongze County, China – More than 3,000 smart streetlights were installed in Hongze County, Jiangsu Province by the Chinese lighting specialist Shanghai Sansi. Other than providing street lighting, the smart poles offer Wi-Fi, battery-charging for electric vehicles, environmental monitoring, security cameras, and digital signage that can display public safety, travel, or weather information.