I got to tour the Signify Plant in Littlestown, Pa. They make the poles there for lighting. They had two smart poles there that they take to shows.
For one, I would like to thank Signify for taking me on a tour of the plant. They have a great team of smart and conscientious people that have an impressive setup. I could not believe the care that they put into the manufacturing of each pole. The detail they put into the painting and how professional they all are.
The Signify team should be very proud and when they took us on the tour, their pride showed through.
Now, back to the smart pole. They had 2 there for show. The models there were IOT and small cell poles. Let me go over each.
The IOT pole is a bit smaller and made for those smaller devices that don’t need the space that a larger radio would. This pole has a smaller back but plenty of room to put in Wi-Fi, sensors, or other IOT functions.
They have a small cell pole which is slightly larger and made to house larger radios.
Both poles had power distribution and surge protection in them and the grounding was well placed.
They also had a small cell base that was larger. Small cells or radio heads need more room and put off more heat. So this calls for a larger base than IOT or Wi-Fi. This was well planned and looked good.
The team at Signify has an end to end layout where they can add and remove pieces as needed. They could add a camera mount, lamp fixture, or another accessory. It has to fit into their model. They want everything on their pole to be pre-approved and accepted before taking it out to the street.
I liked the way everything went together, I was impressed with how they can fit the IOT or small cell into the base and stack the lighting on top then the antennas on top of that. It made sense.
This is the first company I got to see up close and in pieces. They have a good group over there and I think that it streamlines the smart pole deployment.
`Signify has a pretty good business with their poles for cities, mostly lighting from what I have seen. They mass produce about any kind of pole for the need out there. They see the need for cities to upgrade and plan for the upcoming broadband initiatives. It’s going to happen. We even know how it will be deployed, it’s just a matter of getting the proper infrastructure out there to allow it to happen.
It all costs money and proper planning is key. If the poles are tech-ready, then everyone can move ahead quickly and efficiently. If you can add and delete functions, like cameras, radios, or other technology, then you are halfway to the goal line.
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