Home5GAT&T intros smart lights in Vegas, 5G for Dallas Cowboys, $250k for IoT startups

AT&T intros smart lights in Vegas, 5G for Dallas Cowboys, $250k for IoT startups

Las Vegas is working with network operator AT&T and IoT provider Ubicquia to trial a new smart street-lighting solution that makes use of existing lighting infrastructure.

In a flurry of announcements from the city, timed for the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the network operator also announced it is to turn on 5G at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, and release $250,000 funding for IoT startups in a partnership with Arrow Electronics and Indiego.

The smart-city deal in Las Vegas will see AT&T replace existing photocells with Ubicquia’s dedicated streetlight routers in certain downtown areas, and connect them to its mainstream LTE and low-power LTE-M networks.

The city will control the new lighting along Main Street, Las Vegas Boulevard, and around the University Medical Center and certain residential districts, via Ubicquia’s management platform.

It will be able to improve lighting conditions based on schedules and traffic, according to AT&T. As well, the city will be able to monitor usage and outages in near real-time to improve maintenance. Prolonged and unreported light outages will be better managed, improving public safety as a consequence, it said.

The pilot will run for six months, during which time it will be evaluated in terms of energy usage and operational efficiencies. The city said it expects the new lighting platform to bring benefits in terms of public safety for businesses, residents and visitors, as well.

The Ubicell gateway will also connect to air quality sensors in selected areas to provide data on changes in temperature, ozone and particulate levels based on time of day, traffic and construction.

Michael Lee Sherwood, director of innovation and technology for city of Las Vegas, commented: “Safety and sustainability are priorities. Technology is playing a key role in creating safer and increasingly efficient communities… We will continue to be on the cutting edge of new technologies that can help to accomplish that goal.”

Mike Zeto, vice president and general manager of smart cities at AT&T, commented: “Smart lighting solutions provide cities with an opportunity to drive down energy usage and improve environmental conditions.”

Florida-headquartered Ubicquia joined AT&T’s ‘smart cities alliance’ a year ago to deliver custom lighting and smart city services with it. Cisco, IBM and Intel are already members.

Ian Aaron, chief executive at Ubicquia, said the Las Vegas pilot was an example of how cities can utilise existing infrastructure to improve safety and connectivity, and easily deploy smart city technology that solves real problems.

“In collaboration with AT&T, we’re able to deliver highly scalable and reliable smart city solutions,” he added.

Meanwhile, AT&T announced at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Last Vegas it is to switch on 5G services at the AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, in Texas. The availability of 5G services will, in time, transform the “fan experience” at the venue, it said.

Igal Elbaz, senior vice president of wireless technology at AT&T, commented: “5G is expected to alter the in-stadium experience in dramatic, exciting ways by blurring the physical and digital experience in ways that are simply not possible on today’s networks.”

AT&T suggested high-definition video, and mixed reality applications, with fans getting behind-the-scenes access to sports stars, and 360-degree in-game replays. But for now, 5G will work as a go-faster version of LTE, in Dallas, like everywhere else it is currently being turned on.

AT&T customers used 155TB of mobile data at the AT&T Stadium in 2018, equivalent of 400 million ‘selfies’, it said.

Also at CES, AT&T announced it has partnered with tech provider Arrow Electronics and crowd-funding platform Indiegogo to stimulate IoT innovation, including with $250,000 in flash funding for IoT startups.

The trio are packaging developer tools, connectivity and distribution to spur the IoT market, they said. Projects using Arrow-certified products will qualify for AT&T connectivity and flash funding.

Arrow is inviting IoT startups to apply for certification on its website, to assure backers product designs are ready for manufacturing.

Chris Penrose, president of IoT solutions at AT&T, said: “Funding and access to resources are two of the biggest obstacles that developers face. We’re looking to help remove those challenges so that entrepreneurs can do what they do best – innovate.

“Our IoT connectivity and distribution, combined with Arrow’s technology and Indiegogo’s platform, will help speed the process from concept to the consumer.”

Matt Anderson, president and chief digital officer at Arrow, said: “Innovation is about speed, connectivity, and customer experience. Disruptors are bringing technology together to give their customers delightful experiences.”

He added: “LTE-M and cellular are freeing innovation from the confines of Wi-Fi and local networks.”

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