Smart LED street lamps with multiple functions can monitor traffic and public safety, display public information, and play an additional role in the development of smart cities: 5G base station equipment can be installed on lamp posts.
Barcelona, a typical smart city in Europe, has been moving in this direction since 2008.The Internet of things era has also witnessed the implementation of Smart City projects in many Asian cities, including u-city in South Korea, i-japan in Japan, MSC (multimedia super corridor) in Malaysia, Smart Nation in Singapore and Smart Taiwan in Taiwan.
China's 12th five-year plan (2011-2015) encourages cities to set up smart management systems, while the 13th five-year plan aims to promote the healthy development of smart cities.
Smart LED street lights become a platform for 5G connectivity
High frequency millimeter wave can be used to achieve fast 5G data transmission, but the transmission distance is limited.Therefore, it is necessary to build high-density base stations to achieve sufficient coverage.At this time, it is the LED intelligent street lamp, an indispensable lamp in the smart city, which has attracted people's attention.They are evenly distributed in various parts of major cities in high density and are suitable for the deployment of 5G and Internet of things networks.
Street lamps are deployed at 20-30 meters apart, while 5G base stations are at 100-200 meters apart, which means there is a lot of flexibility in installing 5G base station equipment on lamp posts.Equally important, streetlights are owned by local governments, making it easier for 5G telecom operators to negotiate such installations.
Taipei, Taiwan, plans to replace 12,600 street lamps in five districts with smart LED street lamps by 2019, and replace more than 110,000 street lamps in the city within three years.
China aims to launch 5G commercial operations by 2020. Local governments, especially those in eastern and southern China, are actively building 5G networks in designated areas by setting up smart LED street lights.In January 2019, there were at least 10 smart LED street lamp procurement projects for public bidding in China.
However, it is very difficult to install smart LED street lights on a large scale in a short time, because the hardware and software costs of these lamps are very high.About 240,000 smart LED street lights equipped with multiple sensing systems will be installed in shenzhen at an estimated cost of 50 billion yuan ($7.46 billion).
Expensive 5G smart city solutions
In fact, 4G LTE technology equipped with nb-iot network can also be used for environmental and traffic monitoring, security monitoring and public information display through intelligent LED street lamps, while the advantage of 5G network is faster image transmission.
The development of smart cities may or may not depend on the development of 5G.However, 5G will replace 4G sooner or later, so governments that want to achieve smart cities need to find a way to achieve their goals based on 5G technology.
Deploying smart LED streetlights through 5G connections based on PPP (public-private partnership) or PFI (private financing program) may be economically feasible.But in either case, the private partner should be a large, financially sound business that can generate an initial, one-time return on investment from a source of income that can last a long time.