IOT and the Smart City

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Will Smart Cities use IOT? Will IOT be an integral part of the smart city vision? Yes and yes! IOT is going to be a key factor in many smart city services and it will fill the holes for services other than broadband. If you wonder if it will take off, just ask AT&T who is building an entire business unit around IOT, AT&T IOT website found here. AT&T has invested in complete end to end services for vehicles, asset management, smart cities, and healthcare. So they see a definite future in the IOT ecosystem.

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What about Verizon? Yes, they have their IOT business as well, the website found here. While they are focused more on the enterprise, they too see the ecosystem that I see. In fact, Verizon had a developers website set up, found here, to encourage developers to come up with solutions and fill holes around the IOT need and exponential growth.

Here it is “The 5G Deployment Plan” available now!

So you’re asking yourself, as a small business consultant or integrator, “How does that help me?”. I will tell you how, you have an opportunity to build, deploy, manage, and fill holes in the IOT solutions. We can compete with the larger behemoths like AT&T and 5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelsVerizon by building our own systems, or by piggybacking onto their network with our unique solutions. We can provide the answers that smart cities are looking for. We are the local consultants and contractors, the small businesses that are the backbone of America that know what the cities need. However, the cities need help and we can provide them with vendor agnostic solutions. IOT will open new areas of business for smart cities.

The smart city will use IOT services for a foundation of many things. Funding, cutting expenses, services that will make residents and tourist happy. Why? It is going to be the foundation of many services and how they will work in the city. There are many services that you may have heard of, and some you may think are too futuristic. However, this will be the norm in the very near future. Remember when the smartphone was a luxury? How many people claim they can’t live without it? What about Uber, it has changed the way we get a ride and forever hurt the Taxi service model. What services will be needed?

Let’s begin!

Parking services are an immediate need that most cities are addressing. Until the drones and self-driving cars to take over, we need parking meters that should be easy to pay, which are already taking over. Remotely connected meters that people can pay with a credit card or with a phone application. Those services are already here! What about open parking spaces? Parking is a huge issue in many cities. Wouldn’t it be nice to reroute traffic to the parking spaces and garages that have spaces? YES! Did you ever fly over Thanksgiving? Airport garages fill up quickly, they reroute traffic to the open garages. Also, open street parking is a huge issue. Why not let people know where the spaces are by looking at an app and pointing people to the open spaces. This is valuable to avoid small traffic jams. It just makes sense! This is happening, go to http://www.nedapidentification.com/news/insights/the-business-case-for-wireless-parking-sensors.html and https://www.smartparking.com/technologies/smarteye to see some ideas of how it is done today.

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Garbage dumpster sensors are something that has been growing as a service. If you don’t  think this is a big idea, then you must not care when garbage is laying all over the streets. When a dumpster is full, it’s because there is a lot of garbage and it will start to overflow, and it will blow all over the city. Then the city has to clean it up, especially if it’s going to make the city dirty and possibly spread disease. Now we have a way to get the garbage crews out there when they are needed and if a restaurant is closed for a week and the dumpster stays empty, then why dispatch a truck? What a wasted trip for the garbage company it’s a waste of time and fuel. Think this isn’t real? Then look at https://www.smartbin.com/markets/level-sensor-general-waste-recyclables/ and http://www.enevo.com/waste-analytics-solution/ to see who is doing it.

Sensors around the city are going to be key. This could be water sensors that could detect high water at levees, drains, sewers where an overflow can cause major issues with traffic or resident safety. Water pressure in water mains could drop quickly, which would mean that there is a break in the line which means street flooding or a sinkhole is forming which leads to traffic problems and residents not feeling safe. What about gas lines that have leaks, gas detection could be a huge service.

How about ShotSpotter? Public safety will need to get creative to stay on top of the crime in any city. As luck would have it, someone reminded me of ShotSpotter this morning. Someone just sent me an article, http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/03/02/incredible-tech-detects-gunfire-across-america.html that had sensors put all over cities to identify shots fired in the city and locate them and identify them, You’re asking, is this IOT? Yes, it was a completely automated system that would sense gunfire then alert an NOC, probably an e911 call center, that there are shots fired. All automated. How did the system work? Imagine this, microphones that are hyper sensitive all across a city all connected via wireless backhaul to a central location where there is a server that identifies the sound then puts up an alert on a computer screen. There you go, classic IOT automated services connected wireless to a server that alerts a human when something happens, what a great model to follow. Remember that this technology has been around for over 10 years. The article is new, but I installed one around 10 years ago. I installed the system in York, Pa, which let it go because they could not afford to support it. Here is an article for that service specifically, http://ydr.inyork.com/ydr/opinion/ci_9642210 and http://yorkdispatch.inyork.com/yd/local/ci_10618140 stating how it was unreliable. I don’t blame the system, but maybe there needed to be more systems around the city. Remember that it was over 8 years ago, so the technology may not have been there.

What about Drone Traffic Control? Did you know that Uber is working towards drone passenger service, I would say taxi, but seriously, Uber is the anti-taxi. The article is here, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/09/26/uber-plans-self-flying-drone-taxis-to-beat-city-traffic/ where it explains Uber’s drone vision. My point is if Amazon does the package delivery and Uber does passenger delivery, we will need to have drone traffic control. While it may be the FAA that manages the traffic, each city will need their own way to manage and track the drones. It will be a city service at some point because in the city the drone traffic will be heavy. Deliveries are one thing that the city may not worry about, but when humans take the air, it will be life or death. This is what we have all waited for, to get off the road and into the air. It’s almost here. Why is it the city? Because the intercity traffic will take a long time for drones to do, but intracity traffic is almost here, within the next 5 years. Thank you, Uber! I heard the DJI Matrice, (Amazon affiliate link)  which is a great drone for commercial work.

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Wait, how can we connect these services to the main line? Wireless and wired backhaul. Get creative! I actually have a plan that could help, but hey, you need to reach out to me via Wade@TechFecta.com if you want to learn more. I am not talking about putting it all on a carrier’s system, although they would love that. The key is to have a long battery life where there is no power and where you have the power you could use anything. These services don’t need a lot of bandwidth, what some of them need is a great battery life, and that is where wireless comes in. Low power draw sensors that need minimal bandwidth that won’t drain the battery in the sensor. All of this is real. Even Amazon has them available, found on my affiliate link here, and Honeywell writes about their sensor at https://www.alarmgrid.com/products/honeywell-5821 if you’re interested.

So to wrap it up, the IOT services for the city are huge, not just for the businesses to become more efficient and effective, but for the city to maintain safety and cleanliness. This is one of the foundations of the smart city and services that we will all expect every city and town to have. It will become more of an expectation that a luxury.

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

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CBRS and the Shift in Spectrum Ownership

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I have been speaking about how the spectrum of 5G will shift into the hands of the small business once again. Well, now there are more people on board with this theory. It seems that CBRS is making it all happen and IWCE had CBRS as one of its focal points. (Even though I could not make it this year, they talked about it!)

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Quick update, the US CBRS is the 3.5GHz band, which runs from 3550 to 3700 MHz band. CBRS stands for Citizens Broadband Radio Service (in remembrance of the CB, Citizens Band). It is a licensed spectrum, but it is split up into 2 areas. There is Military radar, and Earth stations that use this spectrum that are grandfathered in and have priority access. That will not change. There will be Authorized Shared Access, (ASA). Currently in the US only, but Europe is looking to follow suit with Licensed Shared Access, (LSA).

5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelsHere it is “The 5G Deployment Plan” available in PDF, Kindle, and Paperback!

ASA includes:

  • Incumbent access including the federal government and satellite providers.
  • Priority access licenses (PAL) which are 7 10MHz licenses to be awarded to the highest bidders. PALs will be protected from the GAA users. PAL will include commercial users like carriers, rural operators, are a 3-year license with only 1 renewal term allowed at this time, and will be in the 3500 to 3650 portion of the spectrum. One licensee can hold only 4 PAL licenses.
  • General access user, (GAA) which is “Licensed by rule” which requires the rules to be followed. This will be dedicated in the 3650 to 3750 MHz portion of the band.
  • A PAL may gain additional GAA spectrum.
  • Companies that currently have this spectrum licenses will be able to keep their licenses; this was used for WiMAX in the past, now it will be LTE focused.
  • Licensing will be done by the Spectrum Allocation System, (SAS), which is a group that can charge for these services, currently being led by Google and Federated Wireless.
  • Hardware vendors include SpiderCloud, Ruckus, Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, ip.access, and Acceleron.

I have been continuously explaining how CBRS will become a major player if the vendors pick up on it. Well, Google seems very interested. My friend Tom Ulrich put together the following report that covers how Google is excited to work with this spectrum and how it is the new beachfront property. How it will open new doors for all of us to deploy over the next 5 years or so.

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IWCE had entire workshops on it where all the big OEMs were there to promote the spectrum. They see great opportunity for growth here. One such workshop was “Building an Ecosystem for the CBRS Band that had all the big players there. Nokia, Ericsson, Ruckus, Google, WISPA, Airspan, Federated Wireless,  Comsearch, Telrad, and Cambium Networks were all presenting something about what they could do to contribute. They all see great potential in this. If you are a system integrator or do network implementation, then hopefully you see the potential as well.

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I was reading a report by ABI Research that mentions several articles pointing to Verizon Wireless plans to use CBRS to replace middle price DAS systems, the articles in RCR and Fierce Wireless using CBRS as the neutral host solution. Then it shows how Nokia added the CBRS to its Airscale product and the Ruckus OpenG product to follow suit. Not to be outdone but Acceleron also has a CBRS product. Just to be fair, Spidercloud was one of the first to have a CBRS product. It spears that Spidercloud is already reaching out the  DAS vendors and Verizon to bridge the gap for smaller DAS systems. We shall see more of SAS, (Small Cell Antenna Systems) popping up to replace the smaller DAS systems.

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Could CBRS solve the DAS middleware problem? Could CBRS products fill the void where no one wants to invest in those 100,000 to 500,000 square feet venues where it is too small for a carrier but too large for a small cell? Is this the savior we are looking for? I hope so! A clean way to hand off and a lightly licensed spectrum where we would not all be trampling on each other in the Wi-Fi space. I see a solution that could solve so many issues, financial and technical.

While this will mostly be an indoor solution, something where we could replace some DAS system with a common platform licensed spectrum that all the carriers and non-carriers could share to reach the dense population, it will be used for enterprise and outdoor coverage as a critical part of the 5G network slice. I am looking forward to seeing what small businesses can do with this spectrum to serve the people.

If you want a quick overview, here are 2 links that can help:

I focus mostly on the enterprise play here, but the reality is that we can use this spectrum for more than just indoor solutions. I see the spectrum to be used for new solutions like backhaul in the tough area or as a fixed wireless solution for placed where we need limited spectrum over short distances. I also see the carriers using this as a common small cell solution that can handoff from the licensed LTE spectrum we see today to be used to fill small holes without the very expensive LTE spectrum that they FCC auctioned off for a very high price. I see cost-effective small cells in public area where the more expensive solutions from, the bigger OEMs are not practical. Price matters, but the high cost of backhaul is one of the limitations that hold back deployment, along with permitting costs. All of this are restricting small cell deployment today causing the FCC to push legislation to streamline coverage. Everyone wants great coverage and high bandwidth, no one wants to see an ugly tower in their back yard.

I see CBRS filling the public venues with an alternative to smaller DAS systems by dropping in a CBRS small cell with multiple bands to provide a lightly licensed signal where the carriers would roam onto this device. Clean signal without the threat of another access point going up on the same band(s).

Wade@techfecta.com

CBRS will allow small business and Enterprise to have their lightly licensed spectrum, something that the FCC has kept from small business for quite some time. I get it, they make billions on the auctions, but it has not helped small business broadband. They feel the ISM band was enough for them to build on. I feel differently. Now I see opportunity in CBRS, centimeter wave and millimeter wave spectrums. Let’s deploy and bring broadband and narrowband to the masses! Broadband for internet access and narrowband for IOT access. It’s exciting to see the industry have more opportunity again!

Tom’s Report:

Tom did put together some notes from IWCE. Here is Tom’s report from IWCE, Is CBRS ending “Beachfront Spectrum”?

I had the pleasure to attend IWCE this week and was blown away by Dr. Preston Marshall’s {Alphabet/ Google} presentation on CBRS.

If I had to describe his presentation into 3 words it would be:

  • Ecosystem
  • Incentive
  • Innovation

Is the Ecosystem of Spectrum Landscape changing?  Will CBRS end the need for Beachfront Spectrum?

It is first important to look closely at the “Current reality” of Wireless Spectrum: How does the current Spectrum landscape preclude innovation?

Licensed Spectrum is Expensive – Past Auctions cost the WSP’s Billions to own the right to this FCC Licensed Spectrum and only come available once every ~3-5 years.  They also really limit the number of participant and winners.  Do you have a Billion dollars to purchase spectrum for your “Garage idea of the Century?

Newly Licensed Spectrum roll outs are meticulously planned and take forever to plan/ execute.  They often force the WSP’s to commit to the next technology type before knowing how successfully adopted it will be.  Even after the Spectrum purchase, Look at how many Billions of Dollars were committed in development/ deployment in WiMAX for Intel, Google, & Sprint before changing to an LTE-based solution.  Look at how difficult turning off old technology types {Analog, iDEN, GSM, UMTS, & CDMA} have become.

Spectrum is Slow to deploy and can take 6-8+ years to clear spectrum, raise funding, and establish a product rollout.  Look at failed Spectrum rollouts like Lightsquared, Next-Wave, etc.  Some companies like Dish have even had the forward though of saving spectrum, waiting for the next technology shift, or WSP Spectrum shortage to capitalize on their dormant Wireless portfolio.

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In today’s unlicensed wireless ecosystem it encourages OEM’s to make cheap, lousy radios that do not perform very well with interference present.  802.11 Wireless AP’s are often a cheap commodity that needs to be upgraded or replaced every 3-5 years.   How much innovation can we drive with a $40 access point?  This often drives the race to the bottom on who can create the least cost AP.

How does CBRS set-up to change the Spectrum Landscape and Drive Innovation?

Dr. Marshall stated, “CBRS will make spectrum buying an economic decision.”  It incentivizes stakeholders to maximize their ability to deflect interference and operate with radios that can perform in a noisier shared spectrum environment.

Dr. Marshall detailed his 4 step plan to rolling out CBRS

  1. Regulatory – Helped get FCC approval, help develop standards within the Wireless Innovation Forum, and CBRS Alliance. Established FCC Part 96.
  2. Coexist – Creating an ecosystem environment for Multiple Technologies and Stakeholders
  3. Recruit – Recruit top talent and buy-in from Wireless industry
  4. Prove – Further innovate standards, product, Solutions, and Applications.

CBRS creates a Wireless Ecosystem that now will encourage innovation and allows for fast, less expensive rollouts.  Why not put a solution in the Marketplace and let the market decide how well it is adopted before committing to extensive field trials and Millions of dollars?

Dr. Marshall detailed that this Spectrum Landscape is sustainable to support additional shared spectrum bands, and may hold some of the keys on Business models, and landscape of 5G.

Special thanks to Tom for sending this back to us.

Now, my opinion. We have seen the players be OEMs and carriers and other integrators in this space. Who has been conspicuously absent has been the cable companies. Here is space where they can shine, grow, and spread beyond Wi-Fi without building an ironclad agreement with one carrier. They have the money and the deployment process to make this a phenomenal area of growth. I would like to think that SpiderCloud would be calling the cable companies with proposals and business cases. Just my opinion. It is time for the cable companies to make it happen in wireless deployment.

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

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Do you know what to put in your SOW, the details needed to get paid for milestones or job completion? 

The foundations below do beautiful work, helping families in their time of need. Climbers often get seriously injured or die on the job. The foundations below support those families in their time of greatest need! 

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Hubble Foundation helps the families of climbers in a time of need and beyond with financial support and counseling!

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Tower Family Foundation supports the families of tower climbers at the time of crisis when a climber falls with financial support and more.

Will IOT be a 5G Service?

COP Banners for Wade4wirelessOf course. When we look at 5G it is well beyond the devices that we are used to. It’s time to expand your horizons beyond a simple device. That is why IOT is used along with 5G in so many conversations. IOT and 5G are used synonymously even though they are not the same thing. The thing is, 5G is the network description and IOT is the application.

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When we think of 5G, we think of the signal tTower Safety for all your safety training!o a device. Now the signal will go to much more than a smart device. It will go to smartphones and tablets, but it’s also going to go to sensors, video cameras, games, smart gloves, smart anything that can be connected. We already see it with Wi-Fi that set the stage for 5G to connect to anything. The problem is that we need more bandwidth for stuff like that.

Here it is “The 5G Deployment Plan” available now!5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixels

Just when we thought more and more bandwidth was the answer, IOT device makers realize that they don’t need the bandwidth, but they also realize that lots of bandwidth needs lots of battery power to support it. So, they thought, how did pagers last so long on that tiny AA battery? How? They did it with less bandwidth, with the power to sleep until the code wakes it, and not using the display all the time. WOW! Paging technology ideas are still the foundation for modern technology! I remember we had QAM 64 before carriers had LTE. Anyway, I digress.

While the broadband is adding amazing opportunities to the modern era, like remote surgery, self-driving cars, long-range drones, gaming, video, and applications. We also have machine to machine communications we call IOT, which we need to track devices that can track and control remote things without having a human constantly looking at a screen. In almost real-time it can adjust.

While wireless gets not only more advanced, it gets more and more efficient with less and less overhead. It’s not all the wireless side, the network is pushing the computing and decision-making to the edge. It all started with the cloud bringing the data closer to where we are. Now the edge is bringing it closer to the wireless edge with less overhead and lower latency. We can have the application’s source get closer to the actual remote device.

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Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!The Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS showing you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute.

The edge makes all this possible. Efficiencies were built into the wireless formats. Now the network is building in its own efficiencies by reducing the latency that it would normally have in transport. Routers and switch have become more efficient but now we are finding a way to cut out the travel delay that has been there for years. Now we can eliminate the travel delays by having more computing done closer to the device making readings and changes happening real close to real-time.

WOW! Just a quick overview of what is out there and how cool it is.

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Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

SOW Training Cover

Do you know what to put in your SOW, the details needed to get paid for milestones or job completion? 

The foundations below do beautiful work, helping families in their time of need. Climbers often get seriously injured or die on the job. The foundations below support those families in their time of greatest need! 

official logo

Hubble Foundation helps the families of climbers in a time of need and beyond with financial support and counseling!

tower-family-foundation-e1447069656192

Tower Family Foundation supports the families of tower climbers at the time of crisis when a climber falls with financial support and more.

The PA Wireless Happy Valley Technology Rally Review

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I had the opportunity and honor to speak at the Pennsylvania Wireless Associations’ (PWA) event at State College, Pa. I was on a Tower Safety for all your safety training!panel that discussed the IOT use in smart cities. I’ll get into that in a minute, let’s talk about the event and the other panelists first. If you want to see the agenda for the event, click here.

It was really a lot of fun, the first day we got a tour of the Penn State Football stadium, which was awesome. The tour guide’s name was Spider, that’s right, Spider. He was great. He took us all through the penthouses and through the area where they players parents wait and in the locker room and on the field. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for arranging that.

But wait, there’s more! They also have us a front seat to the AT&T and Verizon site and DAS head end for the stadium. That was cool to see; I have some pictures so you can see it was a full site. They have a lot of radio heads crammed into that shelter. They also have a packed DAS head end there as well. Pretty cool to see. The AT&T tech told Tower Safety for all your safety training!us that they have a 1Gbps backhaul for that site. It just doesn’t seem like enough for over 100,000 people on gameday. It was an impressive setup and great to see!

Then, the next day was the actual conference. It was great to see so many people interested in wireless at one event. I thought the turnout was great. This was at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

Let’s get to business, here is where we had the panels that would set the stage for the Smart City work that I hope we all can participate in very soon. It’s finally happening using all the infrastructure that many of us put in over the past 5 years. Seriously.

Here it is “The 5G Deployment Plan” available now!

The opening speaker was Ram Narayanan from the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He runs a lab for the school to do research into wireless systems and offering. He also runs a program where local businesses can come in and 5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelswork with the school for research to create new things. It looks like a very exciting program and Ram took a lot of pride in what he built. If you are interested in working with Ram at Penn State then you can find his information here, http://www.ee.psu.edu/Directory/FacultyInfo/Narayanan/NarayananProfilePage.aspx to learn more about how it works.

The first panel was AT&T, who really had a nice presentation on how AT&T can do a complete end to end IOT offering. They are already offering the service, and they talked about security for the IOT network and devices. Peter Stephenson presented the offer well. If you would like a turnkey solution, this is the way to go. I am not sure if that’s how everyone would like to go but it’s one possible solution. It sounds like AT&T will have both LTE-M and NBIOT bands up and running. They already have proven solutions, and they are growing the program. They already have a NOC/call center and the coverage in most areas. Amy Mcllvaine explained what a smart city was and gave some examples of the smart city initiatives that were already being worked. Barb Burba was the moderator for this session.

The second panel was mine along with BIG Wireless. We had a unified message to let the people in that room know that they have an opportunity to participate in the IOT and Smart City ecosystems. Several cities are going to want to deploy their own networks, and it Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!would be anything. If you want to see a copy of our presentation, click here. We drove home the point that cities will all have different priorities and want unique solutions. That is where the people in wireless can come in and look for new sources of revenue as well as provide valuable services for cities. They will have needs for everything from garbage tracking to vehicle tracking to parking meter and space solutions. Routing traffic, alerts, digital signage, city-wide Wi-Fi, and more. They will be looking for income from their poles and other assets that they have available. They will look to reduce their expenses by installing LED lights and tracking people. They have so many opportunities that we, the consultants, contractors, and wireless solution providers, can provide. You get the idea. Special thanks to Bob Hagarman and Roger Hayes from BIG Wireless and Mike Starner for being on the panel with me. It was a really great time.

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Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!The Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS showing you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute.

The third panel was a varied group. The moderator was Ryan McBreen of Waterford Consultants. He did a fine job of asking relevant questions for each panelist. Tim from Crown Castle did a great job talking about the opportunities out there for deployment and DAS, he was interesting and made some great points about how DAS upgrades continue to keep him busy. Tony Cellucci gave a good talk about the use cases for IOT. It was good to learn what is already happening in the industry with IOT and the availability of new sensors. Joe Conlon got up and showed a video on how Itelisys connects contractors in the industry. That was one of our points, we all need to work together to become the end to end solution.

Then came the closing ceremonies for the event. This is where we could thank the people who worked hard to make it happen. There are so many people who worked hard to put this together, Barbara Burba (Amerisites Wireless Development) and Marc Geddio (Waterford Consultants LLC) went the extra mile to make sure that the event went off without a hitch. Great job! Both of you went above and beyond to make it a great event.

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Chris Pleibel is the president of PWA, and he gave a great talk at the end letting us know that the PWA is there to support the wireless industry growth in PA.

Special thanks go out to the PA Wireless Ass. Steering Committee! Thanks to each of you for putting this together.

  • Phil Burtner, NB&C, PWA Board
  • Ryan McBreen, Waterford Consultants
  • Lisa Batchelor, Crown Castle
  • John Shive, Crown Castle
  • Sarb Bassi, American Tower Corp
  • Michael Starner, Comcast

One thing I would personally like to thank the PWA for is its continued support for the Hubble Foundation. Hubble Foundation has been trying to raise money this year, but it has been tough. They rely on groups like the PWA to support them as well as people like you and me. I make a point to give something to Hubble Foundation each year, more often if possible.

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

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Hubble Foundation helps the families of climbers in a time of need and beyond with financial support and counseling!

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Tower Family Foundation supports the families of tower climbers at the time of crisis when a climber falls with financial support and more.

Smart City Sustainability

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I have seen some smart city questions come my way, specifically, how can the smart city be sustainable. When I think of sustainability, Tower Safety for all your safety training!I think of how to make the system pay for itself. To make it a viable and long-lasting program that doesn’t rely on tax dollars just to survive. Those systems often die off a financial death. So, what can we look at for income and a reduction of expenses?

It’s a good idea to create a plan to add income and reduce existing expenses and make it all look nice. We want to be prepared for when the opportunity comes to us. We also should be prepared to look at 5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelsthe existing leases and contract because it’s a good idea to know where you’re starting from.

Here it is “The 5G Deployment Plan” available now!

Expense Reduction:

Expense reduction is not always obvious. Using lower power LED lights makes sense, if the lamps are easy to replace and have a payback of less than 1 year. Which has been an issue. However, we can see where we can save money in the long run by investing now. Expense reduction is not obvious to us because we normally we look to spend money up front but we know we can save them money in the long run. We need to build a good long-term case because technology people look at things so differently than the financial guys do. For example, the IT people see a new server that is energy-efficient and has a low heat footprint is going to save money on not only energy savings but with less heat the cooling isn’t so critical saving money on the air conditioning bill. Most financial people will look at the expense to buy the new equipment. They see the one-time bill, not the big picture. That is why the technology groups need to provide a bigger picture when possible. Don’t worry because most OEMs will do it for you so that they can sell their equipment. I just want you to be prepared to get the right data. To prove to the financial people that we have the answer for long-term sustainability, cost effectiveness, and that this is a long-term solution.

I know what you’re thinking, I just avoided specifics. Well, here they are. The obvious, LED lighting, which is coming down in the upfront costs. Solar systems which are also becoming more and more cost-effective, especially where there is plenty of sun. Not so effective in the northeast just yet, but I see them all over California in newer Tower Safety for all your safety training!communities. What about low energy equipment? Wi-Fi has already learned this, they lowered power and became creative with the way they connect power, this has really helped the cable companies deploy Wi-Fi everywhere. Just like their interfaces. It works well and its reliable, and it’s made to be outdoors. They have Wi-Fi in street lamps, (in the lamp or in the post), so there is no obvious equipment on the post, Dallas is already doing this as is Los Angeles. That’s right, it’s real and being deployed. Just like LTE will be soon. (I am not talking about smart light bulbs in your home, they connect to Wi-Fi but they are not a hot spot.)

I know that aesthetics matter in the city. So, they could put in a new pole with new lighting that takes less energy. They could also have a pole that is ready for the growth of wireless equipment inside the pole. Maybe they could think through the poles to add small cells, Wi-Fi, and routing equipment with fiber access. Then what? You make money off the asset. This is where you really have something to gain. Replacing the pole costs money and if they have to run new power for the lamps it will be a lot of money. Older lamps ran on higher voltage, so it could be cost inhibitive now.

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Now, let’s look at ways to make money of existing city asset.

The low hanging fruit for the city is to lease the assets, like poles, lampposts, traffic lamp posts, strand, and more. Just be smart when you negotiate the lease for the poles, remember that most carriers want the pole to themselves, but don’t get into an exclusivity contract for all poles. Be smart and plan it out. Also, if you don’t’ want to manage the poles, then work out a deal with a company that already is good at leasing poles. Make sure you get a piece of the rent for each pole. While up front, the income will seem low, as the need grows, you will have more income from new players. This is tough on many poles because there are already local telecom and cable companies on there. One thing that many cities learned is that many of these poles with fiber on already have contracts in place where they limit the competition getting on new poles. Don’t limit your options. Make sure you put in there that it must look nice and be quiet.

Be quiet? What does that mean? It means that older equipment had loud fans that really bothered the residents. If it’s in a residential neighborhood, then it should be quiet. It must look nice, so people don’t complain.

Let’s look at other income, do you already have fiber or wireless backhaul. This is something that you could position to lease or offer carrier services. If you don’t want to manage it, then you could work with a fiber distribution company to manage your fiber. It’s a source of income that could be utilized.

You would provide space for kiosks that would be great for Wi-Fi access and digital signage. I see two models, one where you just lease the space and let the company build and do it all. The second model is like what NYC has done, build the kiosk, put in Wi-Fi, and provide digital signage. You could make money from the rent, of the Wi-Fi access, or advertising on the digital signage. The choice is yours.

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Obviously, you will make money with the permits, just be smart about it, if you put crazy restrictions in place where you should inspect each one, you will lose money. If you are very clear on what the installation should look and sound like, then you can expect a quality installation and inspect a sample. To do this efficiently, lay out the expectations up front, don’t leave any room there to guess. Put in what the pole should look like, how they should run the cables underground, how they should mount the antennas, how it should be quiet, how the lamp should look, who can attach wires to it if that applies, where the fiber access should be and where the fiber equipment should be mounted (inside the pole, in a box, or underground. All the details should be thought out ahead of time, not after the fact. Be careful with whom you and out permits too. Pay attention to who does good work and who cheats.

Permitting also could be for the underground access. Remember that if someone something in the ground then you have control of it. I know many companies put in boxes underground for access and 5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelsthey look great. Underground boxes can add income to the city, and it can keep the equipment out of site and out of mind. They can put antennas on manholes, it’s a new frontier for Wi-Fi and small cells, to put the signal on the ground and shoot up.

Don’t forget the apps! The city can provide apps to promote city business. Remember that the goal is to grow the business, so partner with then, like your local chamber of commerce, will be happy to have a way to promote business in the city. Make it easy with the apps that residents and tourists can add to their smart devices. Make it easy!

With city-owned Wi-Fi, the workers will have broadband access all over the city. Give the workers a free account and have them use it for access to databases, trouble ticket systems, time keeping, and so on. Use the network that is there.

Use your assets to give remote access to your parking meters, another source of income. If people can pay with apps and credit cards over a wireless backhaul, then your revenue is not only going up, but you don’t need to dump the change out of the meters. You Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!can also track what parking spaces are busy all the time and which ones never are used. Less expense and easier income along with real-time analytics make the city a winner. If the parking garages are city owned, then it’s a bigger way to get income and track open spaces.

If the smart city is going to survive and grown, then put some proper planning in place. A connected city is part of the smart city. A smart city is a happy city. A smart city has the foundation to grow and attract more residents and visitors. Sustainability is key to making this happen.

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

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Building the Smart City Foundation – Assets

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The foundation for a smart city is really the assets it can provide. The key to good assets is to use what is existing. I am going to focus 5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixelsmore on wireless, but there are great opportunities that the larger cities are already thinking of.

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Assets

  • Poles – there are plenty of poles throughout the city. They could be wood poles, lampposts, or poles to hold up traffic lights. Remember that these are valuable assets that could be utilized or rented.Tower Safety for all your safety training!
    • Small cells for dense networks is already happening. The pole owners, could be the city r a utility, have a great opportunity to rent these poles out or let people hang small cells and fiber on them.
    • Cameras will be deployed more and more to track traffic conditions, track bad guys, and to help cities analyze foot traffic throughout the day.
    • Lamp posts can be changed out to LED, which in the long run should save money. Solar panels can be put in, reducing the need for electric. Wind generators could be added, although a stretch, it can be done for energy. The city will have new sources for energy at each pole.
  • Underground – there is an opportunity to not only run fiber underground, but equipment can be mounted underground also. This is a new item I had the pleasure of discussing with a company called BrandBumps. They make an underground box that is suitable to mount equipment, like routers or small cells. Really a great idea. The equipment can stay dry and it does not look ugly. It’s underground. The only people that see it are the people that open up the box to see it. How cool is that? WOW!
  • Fiber should be thought of as an asset. I believe that it is going to be used by so many services to the pole. I think that the pole could be a main handoff for small cells and fixed wireless. So by putting fiber access at almost every pole the city should be covered. This will allow so many services to be deployed to each pole which could have wireless at each pole. Wireless is more than Wi-Fi, I will explain that later. Just remember that fiber is an asset, it is the key to internet and network access beyond the poles. It can be owned by anyone. Companies could own it or fiber companies or a carrier. If you have fiber and strands available, then someone will pay you to ride across it. Cities can regulate how much fiber is in or the utilities could regulate it or the fiber companies may have exclusivity to the poles and access. Just ask Google Fiber how hard it is to attach to a pole owned by the competition. Remember that the cable companies are also major players. They have a say, and if the competition, like Google fiber, wants to attach to a pole they will say NO to keep the competition out. It’s business folks. In Nashville pole attachment rears it’s ugly head, read about it https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/09/att-sues-nashville-in-bid-to-stall-google-fiber/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2017/02/02/pole-position-we-found-out-exactly-where-google.html to see that the legal issue is very real.
  • Strands – that’s right, the strands that run from pole to pole along with some of the cable. Did you ever notice the cable companies started to put their Wi-Fi on the strands so that they would not have to mount to the poles? Do you know why? Permitting and zoning are almost nonexistent on the strand. They make strand mount radios with DOCSIS interface. The DOCSIS can provide power and backhaul to something like a low power Wi-Fi unit. It makes sense and it’s easy to deploy and all the cable companies are doing it. They also have the lowest spot on the poles, which is perfect for Wi-Fi and makes the strand mount easy and safe. It is well below the danger zone where power may be mounted. Don’t forget the strands that the traffic lights are hanging on! They too can be used in a wireless mounting situation as well as for cameras.
  • Lamps – Yes, they have lamps that have built-in Wi-Fi. Thank you LED lighting! They can put the Wi-Fi radio in with the lamp. The cities want everything to look nice, something the carriers didn’t pay attention to until recently. They want it to look nice and be quiet. The way it should be.
  • City Buildings – remember that the city has buildings all over. Why not use that as another asset to mount radios, lease to Tower Safety for all your safety training!carriers, or maybe put public safety in the building. I know, you’re worried about the looks in these buildings, well stealth radios are a big issue, so make sure you set the rules up ahead of time.
  • Bus and Train stops – Here are assets that may already have power and maybe even backhaul that can be turned into a hotspot or add digital signs to advertise. It’s all there and can be added relatively quick.
  • Kiosks and billboards – here you have structures where you could add more digital video and Wi-Fi or even space to put radios in.

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What do we mount on these assets?

This is one thing most people look at the obvious and then forget about all the possibilities. Here is a list.

  • Cameras
  • IOT sensors and radios
  • Wi-Fi radios
  • Small cells for LTE
  • Traffic sensors
  • Autonomous driving car sensors
  • Fixed wireless for broadband to the business, could be CBRS or LTE or mmwave radios.
  • Rent space to mobile carriers
  • Rent space to internet service providers5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixels
  • Rent space to cable companies
  • Put in public safety radios
  • Make sure we have power and backhaul at every site.
  • Install backhaul radios where we can’t get fiber.
  • Install solar panels for energy
  • Install small wind farms for energy.
  • Make sure we have low power lighting, LED, for savings.
  • Connect sensors to detect open parking spaces.
  • Smart meter hotspots

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

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Do you know what to put in your SOW, the details needed to get paid for milestones or job completion? 

The foundations below do beautiful work, helping families in their time of need. Climbers often get seriously injured or die on the job. The foundations below support those families in their time of greatest need! 

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Mounting Small Cells in a City

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With the coming densification of cities, we often try to figure out how we will mount the devices in our cities. After all, urban areas are going to be the key focus of how to grow. Smart cities are not the only reason we will be mounting the equipment in cities. We want to bring underprivileged and underserved areas up to a high-tech region so that everyone there can become an internet business owner. I am an internet business owner; it’s a great opportunity for Tower Safety for all your safety training!us to make something from our ideas. Ideas can be taken from our minds to reality faster than ever before. Cities are working hard to make these things happen for everyone. The don’t want favoritism; they only want to give everyone an opportunity to grow and build a business. The more successful the residents are, the more successful the city is and the more loyalty it will build for customers.

So how do we do all this great stuff? We densify networks. We offer Wi-Fi, CBRS, LTE-U, mmwave, and carrier networks where the people are. IOT will absolutely require that we have signal as close to the device as possible, not to mention the autonomous vehicles like cars and drones. While the technology is cool, we still need the physical mount. We still need to hang a box near the people. We still need to deploy a network and a backbone. That’s right; we need to install a box and a cable in the city.5g-deployment-plan-front-cover-3k-pixels

Here it is “The 5G Deployment Plan” available now!

Cities want it to look nice and to be quiet. That is what I have learned. How do we do that? We look at what we can mount to.

Strands – Cable companies use strands to mount the Wi-Fi boxes they hang. It makes rolling out the equipment quick and easy. Fewer permitting issues, the lowest thing on the poles, so it’s less of an issue to attach, put it near an access spot with a DOCSIS interface and installation is easy and quick. Easy and quick to roll out. The backhaul is generally the cable connection. The power source is also the cable connection. It’s very efficient and cost-effective. Why don’t cable companies roll out small cells?

Poles and lampposts – Mounting to the pole are how most carriers do it. They like to have 360 coverage, generally 3-panel antennas but they could have 2 or one. Omni antennas still serve their purpose for the carriers, but they prefer sectors to manage traffic. The small cell and antenna will go on a pole. The fiber is the preferred backhaul for carriers. They mount an antenna or 3 on the pole; they put a box on the pole with the radio head and fiber equipment, then they are done. Prior to doing any of this, they need to get rights to the pole, sign a lease or agreement, get fiber to the pole, get the permit to mount to the pole, get permits for the fiber to the pole, and get power to the pole. There is so much prep and permitting that happens prior to any carrier getting on any pole almost everywhere. It adds to the cost. Small cell hardware is cheap. Installation is cheap. Backhaul, permitting, planning and leasing are expensive.

Underground and manholes – There are solutions where Wi-Fi has been deployed on manholes for coverage. Fiber and small cells are put underground near the poles to keep the poles clean and pretty. Fiber is being run underground where possible to avoid those overhead and exposed cables from hanging off the poles and looking ugly. Underground can look nice, but as we grown and make changes, it’s a nightmare. We need to pull tons of permits and rip up the pavement and spend a ton of money to add a few strands of fiber just so we can grow or add new equipment.

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Buildings – remember that the building is still a great way to mount the equipment. The buildings are not only the roof, don’t limit yourself. We can use the outside walls to mount small cells. We can use the windows in stairways to get the signal out to the people. We can put small cells in the windows of large buildings with storefronts. Why not, it’s easy and effective if the glass passes RF. Let’s get creative here. Why not work with small businesses and give them free access to the broadband to get inside their building and get the signal on the street. It just makes sense to me. It’s an asset that could be a win-win for everyone involved.

Public Transportation – we will be looking at buses and trains to W4W Cover 4swhave Wi-Fi. They could also pass the signal outside to the people there. They could have hot bus stops and train stations that can spread the signal to the people.

Kiosks, billboards, and signs – here is something that is really underutilized by most cities, they need to use city-owned assets beyond the bus stops.  Billboards are obvious, they are everywhere and prove to be valuable in mounting wireless assets because most already have power. Many larger cities have kiosks to help people Tower Safety for all your safety training!around the city. They have signs showing people city maps. They have pay phones that may be there for emergencies. I recommend using these assets or renting them so that broadband can get out to the city for more people to use. It could be a game changer by using something you already have available to provide new rental opportunities.

We need to get more creative to roll out new wireless formats. Whether it’s Wi-Fi, 5G, IOT, or any other format, let’s get the assets out there and see what we can realistically mount to.

Think about what the options could be! We can do so much more in a Dense Network. Dense networks are becoming mainstream for all of the world, so let’s get started here in the USA.

The Wireless Deployment Handbook  Paperback and

Get the Wireless Deployment Handbook today!The Wireless Deployment Handbook eBook that covers professional carrier end to end deployment of LTE small cells, CRAN, and DAS showing you the proper way to plan for deployment then execute.

DJI Matrice 100 – QUADCOPTER FOR DEVELOPERS + DJI Guidance System + TB48D Spare Battery + CS Kit

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

SOW Training Cover

Do you know what to put in your SOW, the details needed to get paid for milestones or job completion? 

The foundations below do beautiful work, helping families in their time of need. Climbers often get seriously injured or die on the job. The foundations below support those families in their time of greatest need! 

official logo

Hubble Foundation helps the families of climbers in a time of need!

tower-family-foundation-e1447069656192

Tower Family Foundation supports the families r tower climbers at the time of crisis when a climber falls.

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