Siklu and Schréder connect light poles

  • December 7, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Connected light poles for smart cities and campuses are the result of a collaboration between Californian 5G millimetre wave firm Siklu and Belgian outdoor lighting company Schréder.

They have produced a wireless smart pole combining embedded gigabit-speed mm-wave wireless connectivity into light poles featuring wifi access points, HD cameras and more.

Siklu specialises in fixed 5G mm-wave for gigabit wireless access, smart city and security networks. Schréder makes outdoor lighting systems. Together, they have created the wireless smart pole, thanks to a module that will officially launch early next year under the name Shuffle Wireless Backhaul.

This wireless smart pole has the latest equipment for smart city services and gigabit wireless connectivity provided by the Siklu MultiHaul line of radios, all built in into a sleek streetlight unit.

The Shuffle smart pole is constructed of rotatable and interchangeable modules that seamlessly integrate various LED lighting options, security cameras, wifi access points, EV charging sockets, audio speakers and small cells for 4G and 5G mobile networks. Today when cities or campuses wish to add these devices to an existing pole, the result is an unsightly Christmas tree look with boxes and wires protruding everywhere.

In addition, these devices need connectivity – fibre where available, but often wireless. Adding a wireless connectivity device externally can exacerbate the aesthetics problem.

The Shuffle module solves this problem by integrating all the cameras and APs, as well as the mm-wave MultiHaul, into a sleek and attractive unit measuring between 3 and 7m high, depending on what modules are chosen.

The MultiHaul provides just under 2Gbit/s of capacity, operating in the licence-free 60GHz band. The smart poles can connect to each other in a daisy chain, or in a point-to-multipoint topology. The latter has one Shuffle with a base unit that can connect up to eight additional Shuffles. With a flexible fibre or copper interface to a PoP (fibre point of presence), this combination makes deployment of smart city services more cost effective and easier.

Cities and campuses looking to add services do not have to replace every streetlight pole installed, as the Shuffle’s wifi and camera capabilities allow them to be installed into existing streetlights.

The Shuffle is designed to be environmentally friendly with LED lighting and low overall power consumption. It also eliminates the need for trenching and other street work to connect a smart pole to a fibre internet connection, reducing installation time. 

“We are tremendously excited to continue our leadership in next generation street assets with the launch of the new Shuffle wireless backhaul module together with Siklu,” said Cristian Tanase, smart pole programme manager from Schréder. “City infrastructure is an ideal vehicle for wifi hotspots and built-in cameras offer an unobtrusive security overlay. This new module is a win-win for cities and campuses alike, bringing gigabit wireless connectivity and helping lower the civil works budget needed to otherwise install such a product.”

Siklu’s wireless products are used by service providers and system integrators to provide 5G gigabit wireless access services. The products also suit smart city projects requiring extra capacity such as video security, wifi backhaul and municipal network connectivity all over one network. Thousands of carrier-grade systems are delivering interference-free performance worldwide. Easily installed on street-fixtures or rooftops, these radios have been proven to be suitable for networks requiring fast and simple deployment of secure, wireless fibre.

“Smart cities require advanced gigabit connection to tie all the smart applications together,” said Ronen Ben-Hamou, CEO of Siklu. “The new Shuffle with integrated gigabit wireless from Siklu leads the way in meeting this requirement and delivers on ease of deployment in an aesthetically-pleasing form factor.”