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AT&T and National Landing develop 5G smart city apps

by | Jan 14, 2022 | Smart City Project

AT&T is collaborating with National Landing, a neighborhood outside of Washington, DC, to provide 5G-enabled smart city applications. AT&T aims to deploy autonomous transportation, drone-based delivery, smart parking, and other applications in National Landing. This project also considers aesthetics to ensure that the fiber, radio, and backhaul infrastructure is not an eyesore for homeowners.

This post was produced in collaboration with The5GExchange.com

A story by Diana Blass and Jo Kassis.

Diana is Kurrant Insights’ Editor-in-Chief and video director. She is passionate about technologies that have a real impact on people.

Jo is an IoT-focused content strategist. He creates in-depth reports to keep our readers up to date on the newest industry developments.

A 5G smart city, that’s what AT&T says is building from the ground up in National Landing, an area just outside of Washington, D.C. The collaboration is part of a broader effort to unleash a first of its kind 5G innovation ecosystem. But what exactly does that mean? Let’s get up to speed with Rasesh Patel, Chief Product & Platform Officer at A&T.

What use cases are you working on for this project?

We invest in many use cases that will quite possibly come to life. Everything from autonomous transportation and delivery, drone-based delivery, as well as solutions for residents because this is a mixed-use development, things like smart parking, Walkup unlock. We also have the Pentagon and important public sector clients that require the next level of privacy and security. We will also have our multi access edge compute that will provide private network capabilities. And so, I would say this is sort of a broad candidates for innovation.

AT&T announced plans for a project in July alongside JBG Smith, the real estate developer responsible for the construction. The project brings a new level of control when it comes to design and esthetics, something you don’t often find when it comes to technology. And that’s important because resident have been spotting unpleasant technical poles and other equipment popping up in their neighborhoods.

So how does this project take in concerns we’ve seen come to light elsewhere in the state when it comes to tech infrastructure deployment?

The fact that it is being done from the ground up really allows us to be very deliberate about, how the infrastructure kind of blends into the environment. Quite a bit of that infrastructure will be underground like fiber and the core connectivity in backhaul, but the radios and things of that sort are really being built right into the environment in a way where they’re essentially going to be seamless to the residents and the people who are within the community because it is a ground up type of development.

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This project will include 5G, millimeter wave spectrum and sub6 gigahertz bands. What kind of outcomes do you hope to achieve?

If you were, walking into your retail store inward looking for, a piece of clothing, you can go in front of a smart mirror and essentially different things can be projected onto your image. So you can virtually try out many different outfits and you need, very high speed with very, very low latency for that to look and feel very real as your sort of body moves. And you need the objects to move, you know, corresponding in sync. And so, all these assets, including the sub6 spectrum, as well as the millimeter wave spectrum, enable this gigabit level speed as well as the low latency.

Developers are increasingly building smart city tech into plan communities. A development underway in Ontario, California, by the name of New Haven will include drone delivery technology for residents, meaning goods will be ferried from a retail space within the community to resident homes.

5G could be a huge advantage for businesses, we would also think that it comes with a steep learning curve. How is AT&T looking to close that digital divide, which we don’t often talk about?

You know, small businesses don’t have access to professional I.T. organizations. And so, we’re building a smart network management app that essentially builds security right into the connectivity, offering as well as it brings network management and control. So, small businesses that have a lot of guests, like a restaurant who are connecting to the Wi-Fi, well their traffic won’t interfere with the businesses point of sale traffic through things like network slicing. And so, these have historically been complex use cases that are, for bigger clients and in and through this app that we’re going to be launching we’re going to effectively make those very accessible to small businesses. And the last piece of it is, there are technologies that larger businesses have access to, such as Iot based technologies that deliver guest analytics. How many people are visiting your stores? How long are they spending looking at devices? And we’re going to package some of those capabilities and make them easily accessible into the small business offering.

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To wrap it up, installations are supposed to kick off in 2022. What do you think this says about where we are with 5G today?

To me, 5G is about changing everyday life experiences. When the 4G network was launched and LTE was launched, no one could envision that this fast connectivity through a device that’s in your pocket would unlock all sorts of innovation. And we see this as a very similar opportunity. I also think that the model of having the next gen connectivity deliberately thought of and brought to life as a part of the design and the development of such large communities and undertakings will be a model. I can’t sort of disclose yet, but we’ve entered into discussions with other cities to essentially replicate this sort of model so other developers, other cities, I think will be able to gain from this.

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Diana Blass and Jo Kassis Photo

A story by Diana Blass and Jo Kassis.

Diana is Kurrant Insights’ Editor-in-Chief and video director. She is passionate about technologies that have a real impact on people.

Jo is an IoT-focused content strategist. He creates in-depth reports to keep our readers up to date on the newest industry developments.

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