X

Your Streetlights May Soon Have AT&T 5G Antennas On Them

ATT box logo 01 DG AH 2020
Advertisement

One of the main issues with 5G is coverage, but companies can’t exactly place their giant 5G towers on every street corner. However, one carrier has an idea to place 5G antennas around the city surreptitiously. AT&T plans on deploying 5G antennas that can be placed on streetlights.

AT&T wants to place 5G antennas on street lamp

We’re all familiar with the sight of those unsightly 5G towers that we see all around. They don’t exactly scream “aesthetically pleasing’ but they help supply our 5G signal. AT&T, in partnership with Ericsson and Ubicquia, has a way of supplying more antennas without creating people really knowing it.

According to a blog post by AT&T, the companies are developing smaller 5G antennas that can be placed on streetlights. These devices, called Ericsson Radio small cells, could be installed “within just 15 minutes” onto the street lamp and provide coverage in that area.

Advertisement

Placing them on streetlights seems to solve several problems facing 5G deployment. Firstly, they will be able to blend in with the environment a lot better than a full tower. According to the blog post, the antennas will be “virtually unseen from street level.” We’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true.

Also, 5G towers cost a lot of money to build. Placing the 5G antennas on streetlights will greatly reduce costs. The antennas themselves most likely cost relatively little to manufacture.

Streetlights are perfect for this

Streetlights don’t just meet aesthetic standards, but they meet architectural standards. They stand between 8 and 10 meters tall and 50 meters apart. Not only that, but they have their own power supplies and they stand close to fiber. This makes streetlights ideal for holding the 5G antennas.

Advertisement

When to expect these to deploy

AT&T started testing this new technology last year, and the trial went well, apparently. The company said that it’s developing commercial units to send out to major cities around the country. This means that it shouldn’t be too long before we see these in the wild.

These 5G antennas on streetlights won’t increase mmWave 5G coverage; they’re mostly for low-band and mid-band 5G. Regardless, AT&T customers will, hopefully, have better coverage, as it and Verizon are still trailing behind T-Mobile when it comes to coverage.