The Smart City Is Also Beautiful
One of the biggest challenges for city planners is the implementation of technology solutions that do not have a significant impact on the aesthetic beauty of a downtown or neighborhood. Especially in historical regions, people are not willing to sacrifice the charm of a city simply to provide technological advancement, which is why urban planning is a balance between the two. Urban areas cannot exist in a time warp, never improving their infrastructure or way of life for their citizens, but also they cannot move so far technologically that the areas lose their charm, which has happened far too often. This is one of the major difficulties with regard to what is potentially the biggest development in recent history with regard to cellular networks and the availability of information. The “smart city” will rely upon fast internet connections and edge services to provide all of the solutions that people and devices will require in the next 20 years. Slower internet and low bandwidth will not be able to manage all the data that will be available. Citizen’s want access to entertainment and high definition video, banking, educational tools and business opportunities that are all dependent upon fast internet with lots of bandwidth. The rollout of 5G networks in urban areas promises to advance regions that once were underserved. The problem is not with the 5G technology, it is that the physical network must be upgraded in order to manage all that data.
4G technology was mostly installed on “macro” tower sites that could be installed within one or more miles of one another and remain fully operable, without loss of coverage. 5G utilizes different and in some cases higher frequencies that propagate more quickly, but only span about one-tenth of a mile. So, when carriers are rolling out their new 5G networks within densely packed urban areas, they need to place more than 6 times the amount of small cell sites than the previous generations of cellular technology needed. 5G also requires that the nodes of the network be mounted closer to the ground in order to provide the connectivity and services needed. Because of the potential aesthetic blights that this much equipment mounted externally in a cityscape would cause, Raycap developed advanced concealment solutions marketed under its STEALTH brand. A new generation of concealed small cell products promises to streamline the approval process as well as the installation of small cell nodes withing a city landscape, all with the intent of providing citizens with the benefits of 5G. One solution Raycap is providing are specially designed and engineered streetlight small cell poles that can be concealed, partially concealed or fully integrated and concealed, depending upong the needs of the carrier, its construction partners and the city. In these solutions all of the radios and antennas, ancillary equipment and power cables are accounted for and provided in the concealed small cell pole. At the pole top the antenna and radios in a concealed pole would be behind an InvisiWave® topper or “radome”, enabling the transmission and reception of 5g mmWave signals. InvisiWave is Raycap’s patent-pending concealment material that was engineered to enable 5G mmWave signals to pass through with little or no degradation. When connected to the rest of the infrastructure equipment in or on the pole, including Raycap’s AC disconnect systems with electrical surge protection, the optimum 5G small cell node is created. The STEALTH integrated small cell poles from Raycap are designed to enable installation, upgrades and repairs in a more efficient and safe manner. With the integration of Raycap’s STEALTH and InvisiWave products into a downtown or neighborhood, the smart city can not only be functional but can also be beautiful.