Friday, 17 September 2021

Bigbelly's Telebelly Small Cells to Connect Rural and Urban Users


Bigbelly claims to be the world leader of smart waste and recycling solutions for public spaces. According to their website, they have a proven solution that has been deployed in 50 countries around the globe. When the company started back in 2003, the mission was to transform one of the least efficient and resource heavy operations - waste operations. Today, Bigbelly provides a public right-of-way platform to deliver smart solutions and host communications infrastructure.

Earlier this year, they announced that Telebelly, an integrated pole and antenna solution that expands the Bigbelly station’s service by offering enhanced wireless services to the communities it serves, is set to boost connectivity across UK cities following its decision to launch. The press release said:

The move is expected to accelerate growth of the UK’s small cell network, which is a series of small antennas attached to existing urban infrastructure within densely populated areas. It will also pave the way for 5G by making it easier for telecommunication companies to deploy a faster and more reliable service without relying on large-scale mast installations.

Telebelly, which is 4G and 5G capable, will also reduce visual clutter associated with the growing number of small cells currently secured externally to fixed structures such as streetlights, as it is securely and internally housed.

Bigbelly anticipates interest in Telebelly from UK local authorities, which are seeking solutions for their public spaces that utliise, wherever possible, existing or multi-purpose infrastructure.

Councils, mobile network operators and other third parties are now able to consider the existing 2,500 Bigbelly units in operation across the UK, as well as new locations, for potential Telebelly sites. Wherever a public waste bin is appropriate, a Telebelly may be the solution to hide small cells in plain sight.

Meanwhile their press release in Australia announced:

Today Bigbelly Solar, Cellular Asset Management Services, and Smartsensor Technologies, Bigbelly distributor in Australia, announce they have deployed a number of Telebelly Wireless cabinets, a hybrid telecom and waste management cabinet to benefit the community providing waste services and wireless coverage.

Bigbelly Solar says this is a global first, with Blackman Park in the municipality of Lane Cove being the first one in the world to go live.

The Lane Cove council commented: “Lane Cove has been using Bigbelly compacting waste bins successfully in the community to help provide more capacity and a cleaner environment compared to conventional litter bins. The integration of this solution with mobile connectivity allows us to additionally provide much needed mobile service in currently underserved locations.”

Bigbelly Solar says the benefit of these units is that they blend in with the surrounding environment and matches the recognisable form of an adjacent big belly waste bin.

Not only does the community benefit from the increased mobile coverage footprint, each new Telebelly station now features a Bigbelly high capacity solar-powered waste compactor, complete with hands-free capabilities.

In addition to providing 4G voice and data services, the Telebelly could also be configured to provide Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and Wi-Fi. A strong and reliable wireless connectivity not only provides a telecom advantage; such a service improves safety and security around public spaces.

Telecommunications have played an integral part during the recent Covid-19 crisis, allowing Australians to continue to work from home and stay connected with friends and family.

For those living in areas with limited coverage due to topography, small infrastructure solutions allow mobile operators to utilise public spaces such as parks and community ovals with coverage while also providing waste solution for the community’s benefit. Bigbelly Solar says these smaller solutions will reduce congestion on the network thus allowing mobile operators to provide mobile coverage in homes and businesses.

Meanwhile in the USA, where their Smart Waste & Recycling solution has been deployed in all 50 states, they deployed Telebelly small solutions in Milwaukee last year. Their blog post says:

The City of Milwaukee first connected with Bigbelly when a major wireless carrier reached out regarding siting challenges ahead of a significant event in the area. The event was fast approaching, and the city required a solution to host small cell in those central, inevitably high-traffic locations. The City looked to solve the all-too-common problem of hiding small cell infrastructure in a manner with the least visual impact. In other words: their complex technology needed to hide in plain sight.

Like many central locations, these high-traffic downtown areas were deemed to be “aesthetically sensitive.” Project approval was fully contingent on the Telebelly’s concealment solution: its ability to be compact, efficient, safe, and self-effacing.

The City was excited about the Telebelly’s multipurpose capabilities, such as small cell hosting, smart waste, IT hosting and more. But most importantly, Milwaukee was intrigued by the Telebelly’s ubiquitous form factor; its simple & understated aesthetic is inherently non-intrusive. This was essential to their form factor challenge.

Within six months of the initial conversation with the wireless carrier, the Telebellies were installed and ready to go! Already, both wireless carriers and the City are thrilled with the installation & performance of their new fleet, and assert that the Telebelly units are an excellent solution for areas which are traditionally difficult to permit.

Readers of this blog will no doubt be aware of many different solutions for both the scenarios listed above, coverage and capacity, that I have covered over the years with similar solutions. It remains to be seen how operators and councils embrace it. 

Embedded below is a detailed video from them from Smart Cities Week 2020, discussing "Smart Alternatives to Small Cell Deployment":

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Friday, 10 September 2021

Ericsson's Street Solutions

Ericsson’s announced that their Street portfolio offers operators and other service providers an opportunity to seamlessly bring connectivity to where it is needed. Part of the Ericsson Radio System, the street solutions are an integrated part of the network, with feature parity and end-to-end performance. 


In a recent press release they announced:

5G deployments are accelerating across the country at a faster rate than expected. According to Ericsson’s annual mobility report, by the end of 2021, 25 percent of the global population will have 5G coverage. In North America, more than 360 million 5G subscriptions are anticipated in the region by 2026, accounting for 84 percent of mobile subscriptions.

However, connectivity can suffer in dense urban environments, and as 5G comes to U.S. cities, urban rollouts are grappling with challenges like how to deploy non-intrusive sites, how best to utilize all frequency layers, and how to streamline site permitting and installation. Many sites need to expand 5G capacity, and hotspots and streets need strengthened capacity in both low, mid and high-band to build a complete 5G network as traffic grows.

Powered by Ericsson Silicon, these new solutions are:

  • Street Radio 4402: Designed to turn a streetlight into a low- or mid-band 5G site in 15 minutes, these compact radios are an industry-unique collaboration with Ubicquia, boosting 4G and 5G experience with zero footprint;
  • AIR 4435: The world’s smallest 4T4R street antenna-integrated radio is designed for minimum footprint and easy installations, adding excellent mid-band capacity to macro coverage gaps;
  • Street Macro 6705: A complete mmWave base station with integrated RAN Compute is an industry-leading end-to-end solution with low visual impact.

Ericsson Street Solutions also include transport solutions for any 5G street site, with wired and wireless backhaul and fronthaul solutions. And zero footprint power systems for street and hotspot sites are 100 percent carry to site, with low maintenance and operations costs.

A brochure with all the necessary details is available here.

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