Lights, phones, action: Ericsson and Philips want to brighten your city while boosting your coverage


Ericsson(s eric) and Philips(s phg) have developed a type of LED street light that comes bundled with a tiny mobile base station. It may sound like an odd or niche combination, but this Zero Site concept is designed to solve two common urban problems in an efficient way, that will coincidentally prove highly lucrative for the Swedish telecommunications equipment giant and the Dutch electronics conglomerate.

Those problems are the so-called mobile data explosion, and the increasing need for cities to cut their energy consumption. And for Ericsson in particular, the Zero Site scheme could see its equipment embedded into urban infrastructure in an unprecedented way.

Densification, illuminated

The inexorable rise of the mobile device, particularly in this 4G era, is causing a change in the way cellular carriers design their networks. People are using so much data that the traditional setup – a fairly widely distributed scattering of large mobile…

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