Thursday 21 September 2023

Vodafone's 5G+ Street Lights in Cologne, Germany

Last year Vodafone Germany announced that they have collaborated with the City of Cologne, RheinEnergie AG and 5g Synergiewerk to bring into operation the first 5G+ street lights in Germany. The first 5G+ street lights in Europe are located in the heart of Cologne city centre in the immediate vicinity of the lively squares at Heumarkt and Domplatte. 

The press release said (Google translated in English from German): 

Vodafone has equipped the two street lights with its own mobile communications technology - this includes the antennas, the active technology and the cable guides. The technology for the 5G network is housed in the lantern base (podium) of the nine meter high lanterns, the antennas are mounted six meters above the ground. The connection to the landline network is via fiber optic lines. RheinEnergie supplies the electricity for the street lights of the future. The antennas have a range of up to 400 meters and offer a speed of up to one gigabit in the 3.5 GHz band of the 5G+ network.

The so-called small cells are small radio cells that supplement the actual base stations of the mobile phone networks. They cannot replace a cell phone location on a roof or mast, but they provide additional capacity or increase the range in smaller areas within the cell phone cell. They are used primarily where there are a particularly large number of people in a small space. Small cells will play a particularly important role in the future for the 5G+ real-time network: in networked mobility offerings, for mobile augmented reality applications or for the social networks of tomorrow.

As part of its 'Gigabit Masterplan Cologne 2025', the city of Cologne is aiming for a comprehensive gigabit network with fiber optics in the ground and 5G in the air by 2025. The city of Cologne's goal is to facilitate network expansion in the cathedral city. Therefore, antenna locations of the city of Cologne and the Cologne public utilities as well as fiber optics and electricity are bundled and rented to the network operators or respective radio tower companies. The commissioning of the innovative street lights is part of the strategy for the comprehensive rollout of 5G+ throughout Cologne. Vodafone and its infrastructure subsidiary Vantage Towers are responsible for thisUse antenna locations in combination with fiber optic and power connections from the city and RheinEnergie. Vodafone is the first user of this 'Cologne model' of combined infrastructure provision. In principle, this model is open to all network operators.

A more detailed video is available in the post here.

In a post that no longer exists, LIGMAN Evolve provided their involvement:

LIGMAN Evolve worked closely with partners 5G Synergiewerk and Stadtsysteme to deliver a bespoke solution for the deployment of the 5G+ network which would blend in with the existing street lighting infrastructure.

The LIGMAN Evolve solution has provided Vodafone with the ability to conceal and thermally manage the radios within the base section of the pole. This podium section also incorporates the power and fibre connections.

The poles incorporate hatches with bracket arms designed for the passive antennas. These provide the ability to accurately align the antennas to the required sector to maximise coverage in the streets.

The Extended podium has been designed with separate compartments for the MNO’s and the local electricity company – ESB. Both have a locked enclosure and neither has access to the others enclosure.

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