Developers building first 5G-ready community in Dallas suburbs
- Frisco Station, a 242-acre mixed-use development outside of Dallas, will be the first community designed to incorporate 5G infrastructure from the ground up, with the assistance of Dallas-based AT&T.
- By building the $1.5 billion community with wireless micro-cells, fiber internet and Wi-Fi in common areas, developers say the "connected community" will be easily equipped for autonomous vehicles and advanced healthcare, entertainment and energy systems.
- The development is expected to be finished in the next seven to 10 years and will accommodate a daytime population of 15,000, with 3,500 permanent residents, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Dallas is already poised to be a technology leader, as noted by the Dallas Morning News. AT&T has announced that it will be one of the first cities to get a mobile 5G network by the end of 2018. Uber has said Dallas will be its test city for an on-demand “air taxi” that will shuttle passengers in helicopter-like vehicles, and Frisco is hosting tests of an autonomous shuttle run by California-based Drive.ai.
Once complete, Frisco Station would be in a competitive position to test and utilize new systems leaning on the ultra-fast and expansive 5G connections. The technology can be used for anything from connected autonomous vehicles and infrastructure to smart grids (an Accenture analysis estimated that the economic benefits of 5G could boost GDP by $500 billion by facilitating smart cities systems).
Mike Berry, president of Hillwood, the master developer for Frisco Station, said in a statement it would be "a high-tech environment, unlike anywhere else in the country, that has the potential to change the way people think about what’s possible in their day-to-day interactions with people and information."
Infrastructure has remained a major hurdle for widespread 5G development, since it requires installation of small cells throughout an urban environment. A study released last week by Deloitte found that the U.S. is trailing significantly behind China in 5G infrastructure development, and other reports have called for regulatory shortcuts to get small cells installed. That again puts Frisco Station at an advantage — by integrating small cells from the ground up, it will not require the costly and time-consuming retrofit going on in other cities.
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