Home5GAT&T signs $1m smart-city deal in San José, geared to energy savings, public safety

AT&T signs $1m smart-city deal in San José, geared to energy savings, public safety

AT&T and San José, in California, have signed a deal worth an estimated $1 million to extend wi-fi coverage and build smart city infrastructure across 14 parks around the city. AT&T is also donating $200,000 to help stimulate community organisations to get citizens online

AT&T will install 670 controllers and 550 LEDs on the city’s street-lighting infrastructure. Alongside, it will provide over 100 wi-fi extenders for public internet access and 15 nodes for new public city solutions; both of these will also attach to the city’s lighting poles.

The programme is geared towards closing the digital divide in the city, and bringing new efficiency gains to city operations, better lighting to streets and public spaces, and a closer watch on public safety.

AT&T’s ‘digital infrastructure’ nodes, which attach to lighting poles, establish a platform for multiple types of sensors. They are integrated into a single piece of hardware, with on-board edge compute functions, and offer data streams that can be used to study traffic patterns, pedestrian behaviour, parking, and environmental factors.

Street lights – smart city applications will be attached to attached to lighting infrastructure

The $200,000 donation from AT&T will go to help local community organisations tackle the digital divide. AT&T said seniors, youth, and under-represented groups will benefit from resources, including digital literacy training and access to devices. 

Meanwhile, FirstNet services are live in San José, too. AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority have reserved so-called ‘band 14’ spectrum in the US as dedicated, nationwide platform for emergency services, under the FirstNet brand.

Sam Liccardo, mayor of San José, said: ”Our public-private partnership with AT&T offers another example of how San José is working collaboratively with companies to improve our community and solve problems with technology. Together we’re working to close the digital divide, improve lighting and public safety in our parks, and minimize our environmental impact along the way.”

Digital infrastructure – nodes attached to lighting will feature sensors and edge compute

Michael Zeto, vice president and general manager of smart cities at AT&T, said: “By taking a programmatic approach to smart cities deployments, cities can truly optimize their investments in technology. Our smart lighting controllers will help San José reduce energy usage and improve efficiencies across the city – a win for the community and the environment.”

AT&T claims to have invested $45.8 million in California during 2015-2017, via various ‘IoT-for-good’ giving programs across the state.

San José was among the seven cities in the US where AT&T switched on 5G services in April; the others were Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, and San Francisco. AT&T has 5G in 19 cities in the US, as it stands. 

AT&T has spoken with Enterprise IoT Insights variously about the opportunity for carriers like AT&T to wrap discussion of smart city solutions into their discussions about site-access for new 5G networks.

In an extensive interviewat MWC 2019 in Barcelona, Zeto told Enterprise IoT Insights AT&T was among the “one or two” leading operators globally on the smart-cities scene

“We were the first carrier to stand up a dedicated smart cities business, and that was three years ago. We are doing many commercial engagements. Business is profitable. And I would say we are the leader in the space from a carrier perspective – definitely in the US, and we’re probably top one-or-two globally from a carrier perspective.”

He added: “What I can say is we wouldn’t be in this business if it didn’t make sense. But we recognise there is a long tail. This is the public sector. It can’t just be about money. There’s a lot more goodness that can be driven as a large corporate. You need that approach.”

Check out the full interview here; for an in-depth review of the state of the smart cities market, check out our editorial report, How to Buy and Sell a Smart City, here.

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