A small town in interior Maine might not be the type of place you’d expect to find smart-city technology, but that will be changing thanks to a partnership between the community of Rumford and infrastructure-platform developer Ubicquia.
Streetlights can be underutilized, according to Dave Wong, vice president of site acquisition at Ubicquia, who said a new agreement between Ubicquia and Rumford, Maine will start putting that community’s streetlights to work on behalf of smart-city technology.
The company said a “master streetlight attachment agreement” was recently reached with Rumford. In a Nov. 20 announcement, Ubicquia said the agreement with Rumford will expedite the path for UScellular to deploy Ericsson Street Radio, a streetlight small cell created in collaboration with Ubicquia.
“Streetlights are often under-used assets,” Wong said. “We are changing that by helping towns and cities like Rumford transform these assets.”
According to Ubicquia, the Ericsson Street Radio is an innovative device they say was designed to turn a streetlight into a low or mid-band 5G site in 15 minutes without affecting the lighting functionality of the streetlight.
With the master attachment agreement, Rumford removes the lengthy site permitting process, according to Ubicquia’s announcement.
“This agreement is good for Rumford,” said George O’Keefe, the economic development director for Rumford. “Smart cities are built on connectivity, and by granting streetlight attachment rights, we enable UScellular to strengthen network coverage for our citizens without cluttering the cityscape.”
Mike Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer of UScellular, offered statements in the announcement that confirmed O’Keefe’s words.
“Getting site permits can sometimes take 12-18 months, and agreements like this expedite that process and allow us to provide essential connectivity without delay,” he said.
Irizarry said adding radios to streetlights is simple, affordable, and unobtrusive.
“We look forward to working with Ubicquia and the Town of Rumford, and we hope more cities follow their lead,” he said.
With the agreement, Rumford becomes one of 800 communities employing the use of Ubicquia streetlight platforms, which will boost 4G and 5G experiences without requiring a footprint, the company’s announcement said.