L.A. installing new streetlamps that come with built-in wireless broadband

If you’re ever out visiting in L.A. and want better internet connection on your phone just walk over to a street lamp because L.A. is the very first city on the planet to install street lamps with 4G LTE technology.

These street lamps are Phillips-branded SmartPoles , they help boost the broadband coverage throughout the city. Each one of the poles are connected to the network through a fiber link. The fiber link allows for a steady connection to be kept at all times. These poles are located closer to the streets and sidewalks which is where more phones are used compared to cell towers which are farther away from the more dense areas of a city.

Day-to-day cell service is great, but the real benefit of this is that the system is not likely to get knocked out by a natural disaster,  like say an earthquake.

After any type of large-scale emergency occurs in a city, we end up relying a lot on our smartphones but the system ends up not being able to handle all the people at once. You’ve might of experienced it once or twice: The cellular network is easily overwhelmed by to many people calling at once. The second problem with cell towers is centralization. Once one cell tower loses its power, a large coverage area is affected by this. Cell towers do have backup batteries to help keep them running but those only last so long with all the extended use. By dispersing the network to various different nodes instead of just one, you get more reliability on most of them to stay on. Peters Marx, the Chief Technology Office for the City of Los Angeles, stated that “this increased reliability for the wireless network is especially important in the event of emergencies — so that smartphones stay online when they are needed most.”

This new system will be great for whenever I go out there and visit family or enjoy the sightseeing that L.A. has to offer and be able to tweet out my adventures much easier. But also in case of an emergency this seems like a great plan for everyone to stay connected in emergencies.



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