In October, Sacramento, Calif., became one of the first cities in the world to go live with the 5G wireless network, the next generation of cellular technology. Benefits the city expects include, of course, making available a high-speed, high-capacity telecommunications network, but also smart city applications to improve public safety and mobility.
To make 5G use possible, the city entered a public/private partnership with Verizon in which the company will install intelligent traffic technology at “problem area” intersections and set up Wi-Fi in parks.
According to the 2017 contract between the company and city, Sacramento is deferring up to $2 million in lease payments on Verizon’s 101 small-cell towers on city-owned assets over 10 years, while Verizon gets streamlined permit approvals for wireless and wired network deployments.
The company is offering 5G in three other cities so far: Houston, Indianapolis and Los Angeles. Globally, other carriers are working to get 5G up and running in Qatar, Africa’s Lesotho, Finland and Estonia. The long-awaited technology, which comes with promises of faster speeds, lower latency and more security than its predecessors, is poised for real-world applications.