San Jose, Calif., on Friday announced the largest single-city deployment of small cellular sites in U.S. history under agreements with Verizon, AT&T and infrastructure company Mobilitie.
As part of the three separate agreements, the city will see small cells installed on about 4,000 city-owned light poles.
Small cells are a fraction of the size of conventional large cellular towers, but large numbers will need to be installed in order to achieve the speed and latency demands of next-generation networks.
Elected officials in many communities around the country have expressed concerns about the impact of such a massive deployment, but San Jose officials said the latest agreements would bolster wireless service speeds by 10 to 100 times compared to existing service, as well as “lay the groundwork for the future deployment of 5G service.”
“Upgrading San Jose’s broadband infrastructure is key to building a smarter city, advancing our long-term economic competitiveness and connecting residents who lack access to affordable, high-quality internet service,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement.
Verizon’s agreement includes new small cells and fiber deployments, as well as upgrades to its macro towers in the city and pilot projects focused on smart city traffic management.
AT&T originally announced a collaboration with San Jose in April and announced Friday that the entities will establish a public-private partnership to develop numerous smart city solutions, potentially including infrastructure monitoring, public WiFi and smart lighting.
San Jose officials said total private investment from the agreements — including small cells, fiber and other infrastructure — would total more than $500 million.
The three companies will also contribute a combined total of $24 million over 10 years to the city’s Digital Inclusion Fund, which seeks to address the more than 95,000 San Jose residents without broadband internet service at home.
“We hope that these public-private partnerships can serve as a national model for equitably deploying next-generation broadband technologies in a way that puts the public’s interest first,” Liccardo said.
Filed Under: Infrastructure