Small Cells & 5G to Improve LA’s Communications

Small cells are needed for 5G networks and open up potential for smart city solutions.
Image: Flickr

A step on the path to smart city solutions, Los Angeles is partnering with AT&T to deploy small cells that advance 5G communications.

The city of Los Angeles is partnering with AT&T and installing small cells in part to improve emergency response. That’s in addition to FirstNet capacity provided to LA’s public safety community through the network’s Band 14 spectrum, and integration of assets from the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System.

The comprehensive Smart Cities agreement, announced in September, addresses a number of city priorities. As an initial step, however, AT&T is deploying small cells to enhance existing voice and data capacity in LA to establish a 5G network.

The small cells are a step on the path to implementing smart city solutions.

Here’s an example of what the deployments might look like:

In early 2019, AT&T is expected to provide Las Vegas, LA, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose with 5G, according to TechRepublic. The company said more than 222 petabytes of data run over its global network daily, and that small cells are needed to proactively meet the demands of customers.

The challenges with 5G are is it takes vast amounts of capital to make this happen. We can’t rely on our existing cell network alone, our large cells. We also have to have small cells, which cover a smaller area but enable us to give that area really great service. As we’re building out 5G, we need lots and lots of these small cells spread out around. Part of that is because we’re using much higher bandwidth frequency. I don’t want to get too down in the weeds with you, but the higher the frequency, the more data it can carry. That’s the good part of millimeter-wave or ultra-gigahertz frequencies,” said Hood Harris, president of AT&T Kentucky.

AT&T reported spending more than $700 million in Kentucky to boost its networks, upgrading the existing 4G LTE network. Louisville will also receive AT&T’s 5G service.

Read more about small cells:

Syracuse Developing Small Cells Wireless Ordinance

City of San Jose Deploys SmartPoles Pilot Project Combining LED Street Lighting with Wireless Broadband Technology

Barcelonians Question Smart Tech Services

About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of EfficientGov.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.