Los Angeles will become the world’s first city to introduce a smart street lighting system, featuring connected LEDs and fully-integrated 4G LTE wireless technology.

In a collaboration between Dutch tech and wellbeing firm Philips and Swedish telco Ericsson, the SmartPole project aims to deliver LA citizens high quality public lighting which is energy efficient and improves network performance in urban areas.

“We are now taking advantage of previously untapped real estate to give our streets better broadband connectivity and future-ready infrastructure, while generating revenue for the city,” said LA mayor Eric Garcetti. “This project shows what smart infrastructure can do for Los Angeles: create jobs, save tax payer dollars, and improve our environment,” he added.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 11.13.54The new scheme builds on an existing partnership between the city and Philips, which established an asset management system that uses mobile and cloud technologies to monitor and control street lights. The company argues that better management of public lights via a connected system can help contribute to safer streets, reduce accidents and prevent crime, while also lowering energy usage and maintenance costs.

The SmartPole introduces an extra benefit – improved mobile wireless connectivity, with small cell technology housed in each light and connected via a fibre link to the core network, increasing data capacity on the streets.

By the close of this week, a total of 24 SmartPoles will be installed across the Hollywood area. The city plans to place 100 poles over the coming year, with a further 500 to follow.

According to Ericsson senior vice president and head of business unit Radio, Arun Bansal, LA is becoming a role model for other smart cities developing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. He explained the importance of the advancement for supporting sustainability and connectivity agendas.

A similar smart lighting scheme is being implemented in the Danish capital Copenhagen, where 20,000 lights have been replaced with efficient LED bulbs. The lights are controlled by a central console which is able to dim them at certain points of the night and sense pedestrians and cyclists to shine extra light for safety.