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Cornerstone Partners with Signify for Smart Street Light Network

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Cornerstone, a leading passive infrastructure provider managing Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) and Vodafone’s shared mobile network, is set to introduce a cutting-edge neutral host network utilizing smart street light technology in urban environments.

The partnership between Cornerstone and Signify, a Netherlands-based company spun off from Philips in 2016, will leverage Signify’s BrightSites Broadband Luminaire products. These innovative LED streetlamps act as network extenders, supporting a mesh network using 60 GHz millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum to facilitate 5G connectivity.

The deployment of Luminaire technology by Cornerstone aims to offer seamless and reliable connectivity discreetly within outdoor city settings. This initiative is expected to enable service providers to launch various smart city applications, enhancing urban infrastructure and efficiency.

Cornerstone plans to roll out its neutral host network in three undisclosed cities within the next 10 weeks. This move aligns with a broader trend driven by climate change, the pandemic, and increasing digitization across industries, prompting cities worldwide to accelerate their smart city initiatives.

According to projections by Guidehouse Insights, the global smart city technology market is forecasted to reach $301.2 billion by 2032, reflecting a significant growth opportunity. A 2022 report from techUK emphasized the necessity for smart city capabilities to address economic transformation and climate challenges effectively.

For telecommunications companies, repurposing existing street infrastructure has become a key strategy to enhance network coverage and support smart city advancements. Recent endeavors include Three’s collaboration with Mavenir to deploy Open RAN small cells on lampposts in Glasgow and VMO2’s trial integrating small cells with fibre cabinets for improved coverage.

Khalid Aziz, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Signify’s BrightSites business unit, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with Cornerstone, highlighting the potential of 5G and IoT technologies to foster connectivity and sustainability in urban environments.

The upcoming deployment of Cornerstone’s neutral host network underscores the growing convergence between telecommunications and urban infrastructure, promising significant benefits for transport providers and pedestrians. As cities increasingly embrace smart technologies, initiatives like Cornerstone’s partnership with Signify are poised to drive transformative change in urban connectivity and efficiency.

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