San Jose Installs High-Tech SmartPoles

The California city has begun installing Philip SmartPoles, which combine energy-efficient lighting with fully integrated wireless technology.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

San Jose SmartPole
San Jose SmartPole

The city of San Jose, Calif. has begun installing 50 Philips SmartPoles, which combine energy efficient LED lighting with fully integrated 4G/LTE wireless technology by Ericsson. This is a pilot partnership initiated through the city’s Demonstration Partnership Policy, established to support the city’s economic development strategy and operations.

“San Jose is a leader in leveraging Silicon Valley innovations to help adapt to the realities of today’s super-connected, global world,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “The SmartPole initiative provides the City of San Jose with a unique win-win-win: more energy conservation, reduced expenditures on energy and maintenance, implementation of LED lighting on dark city streets, and an enhanced broadband experience for our residents.”

The project includes the installation of 50 Philips SmartPoles along with 750 Philips RoadFocus luminaires that are connected through a system in which they can be controlled wirelessly. The LED luminaires initiative is aligned with San Jose’s Vision Zero street lighting goal to improve nighttime safety by installing brighter streetlights that provide more energy efficient “white” LED light. The Philips SmartPole fixtures are 50 percent more energy efficient than conventional street lighting.

Amy Huntington, president of Philips Lighting Americas, said in a prepared statement: “The Philips SmartPole technology is providing progressive cities like San Jose with the opportunity to deliver new services and value to its residents, businesses and visitors. Mayor Liccardo understands that connected lighting systems like this which leverage energy saving LED lights along with more efficient broadband access will benefit the community. We are also seeing the potential for street lights to become wireless digital hubs that will offer a full suite of digital services that will benefit the city and citizens.”

To make this implementation possible, Philips collaborated with utility company PG&E and its metering engineering team to come up with a two-way communicating meter that is affixed to the top of the SmartPole. Its task is to measure the amount of electricity used by the mobile network and transmits the data to PG&E.

“This exciting new smart pole technology provides the San Jose community we serve with smarter, safer and more efficient street lighting. This smart grid innovation is possible because of the important cross-industry work led by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E senior vice president and chief customer officer. “Smart poles are one more example of how we’re working together to deliver value to our customers every day.”

Additionally, Philips SmartPoles enable 4G/LTE connectivity through small cell technology from Ericsson. The SmartPoles were designed and tested to accept FCC licensed wireless mobile network operator equipment.

“Smart cities like San Jose share a commitment to safety, sustainability and connectivity, so we are pleased to be an integral part of this innovative project that delivers all these benefits in one sleek solution that complements their streetscape,” said Arun Bansal, senior vice president and head of business unit radio for Ericsson. “Integrating our LTE small cells in Philips SmartPoles and Ericsson Zero Site ensures that the mobile broadband connectivity requirements of citizens and new IoT applications can be addressed today and as we evolve towards 5G.”