LA's New Streetlamps Will Keep Cell Service Running After an Earthquake

Cities beefing up their smart infrastructure have tapped the ubiquitous streetlamp to track traffic data and measure pollution. Now, in Los Angeles, some streetlights will help keep the communications network intact after an emergency.

LA is the first city in the world to install Philips-branded SmartPoles, which are outfitted with 4G LTE wireless technology by Ericsson to help boost broadband coverage throughout the city. Each pole is connected to the network by a fiber link, which helps keep a steady connection. The location of the poles—which are closer to the streets and sidewalks where people are actually using their phones than central cell towers—gives the network the advantage of being more equally dispersed across the region. That gives people more bars in some of the denser areas of the city, for example.

While better day-to-day cell service is a great feature, the real benefit here in LA is that the system won’t be as likely to be knocked out by, I dunno, say, a major earthquake....more