San Diego, Verizon partner to accelerate 5G deployment
- San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced a multi-million dollar deal with Verizon to expedite 5G installation in the city. As part of the agreement, San Diego will streamline the permitting process and reduce the review time for small cell sites and fiber optic cable connections.
- Verizon will spend more than $100 million on 5G infrastructure and equipment deployment, including light poles equipped for small cells. The company will also give 500 smartphones to the San Diego Police Department and 50 tablets to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
- Verizon will also digitize information about the city’s light poles and install traffic data gathering technology at five intersections prone to accidents.
Widespread deployment of small cells — which broadcast the short, high-frequency signals that support ultra-fast data transfers — is key to bringing 5G to dense urban areas. That’s centered a lot of discussion around permitting and infrastructure regulations, with wireless companies looking for ways to streamline the process for installing the technology. The cells Verizon is installing in San Diego will be 4G LTE, but can be upgraded to 5G.
Verizon launched its first mobile 5G networks last week in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, with plans to expand to 30 cities before the end of the year. San Diego had previously been named a 5G city by AT&T, which has released 5G through a mobile hotspot device in select cities.
San Diego’s deal to speed up permitting mirrors moves by other government bodies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to reduce the roadblocks to 5G deployment. The partnership will not only help Verizon expand its 5G reach, but will also advance its smart cities ambitions. 5G will be used to support everything from connected vehicles to smart grids to widespread sensor networks that will gather data for cities. San Diego has already detailed plants to install more than 4,200 sensor nodes for projects like parking and traffic improvement and streetlight efficiency; a robust 5G network will help accelerate those applications.
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