Smart poles for streets in Penang

Zairil (right) chatting with participants after the engagement session on smart street poles.

PENANG is expected to start installing 151 smart street poles by the first quarter of next year.

Under the state’s Penang Connectivity Master Plan (PCMP), the poles with multi telecommunication functions will be put up in northeast district (94) and southwest district (57)

Penang infrastructure committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said works would begin once the necessary approval had been obtained.

“The number will increase in phases based on demands. We aim to have 1,500 poles across the state by 2025.

“Some of them will operate on 4G networks and others on 5G systems.

“Each pole measuring 18m tall using hardware by Ericson has a transmission radius of between 500m to 800m,” he told reporters at St Giles Wembley Hotel yesterday.

The multi-functional poles would be equipped with LED lights, telco antennas, microwave dishes coupled with at least two smart components such as closed-circuit television cameras or free WiFi.

The poles are designed to provide low height, street-level coverage or ‘gap filler’ for capacity or coverage blind spot, operating on a fibre backhaul.

It is suitable for sites currently not able to be addressed by conventional macro structures such as tower, monopole, lamp pole or rooftop sites.

Zairil said the smart poles would replace existing street poles, adding that the state would not be paying for the project, but merely provide approval and determine the locations.

He said a pilot project on the smart poles had been carried out, with three installed on the island and three on the mainland.

He said telecommunication companies would be charged between RM600 and RM1,200 monthly to use the poles.

“Telco companies which equip the poles with other smart devices such as CCTVs or WiFi transmitters only need to pay RM600 monthly.

“If the poles are without smart accessories, the state will charge telco companies RM1,200 per pole,” he said.

Earlier, about 50 people from various agencies gathered at the hotel for an engagement session to finalise the project.

Among them were representatives of Digital Nasional Berhad, Communications and Multimedia Commission, Digital Penang as well as 22 companies specialising in Network Facility Provider and Network Service Provider.

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