AT&T to develop ‘5G Smart City’
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Aerial view of skyscrapers in National Landing AT&T is the latest major company to invest in National Landing, a district at the intersection of three neighbourhoods in northern Virginia of America (credit: JBG Smith)

US telecoms giant AT&T has teamed up with property developer JBG Smith to build a “5G Smart City at scale” in Virginia.

AT&T claims it will use 5G to make the National Landing district "a prototype for smart cities of the future" by incorporating self-driving vehicles, "immersive retail and entertainment," and large-scale automation.

The duo said the first "network infrastructure deployments" will be implemented early on in 2022 as they use the area as a testing ground for a range of cybersecurity, cloud, edge computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

Mo Katibeh, who leads AT&T's Network Infrastructure and Build division, claimed that a "combination of mmWave and sub6 5G spectrum will be enabled by an interconnected series of building side-mounts, street furniture, and underground network infrastructure" across the area.

Katibeh added: “Together with JBG Smith, we intend to build a true smart city from the ground up that will allow future innovators to use AT&T's network to unlock new capabilities through city-wide edge solutions that can serve specific business locations and everyday users at home or on the go.

"This includes enabling immersive virtual and augmented reality and the massive IoT connections that will become a hallmark of National Landing as the most connected city in the country."

Last year, JBG Smith acquired seven blocks of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum for $25.3 million through a US national auction. That included Priority Access Licenses (PAL) covering more than 16.2m sq ft in National Landing where they are also working on construction of Amazon’s 4.8m sq ft HQ2 (visualisation pictured below) and Virginia Tech university’s $1bn innovation campus.

Matt Kelly, CEO of JBG Smith, said: “We want to equip innovators with the foundational amenities to revolutionize the way they work, giving them an edge above their competition and the confidence to choose National Landing as their home to ideate and innovate locally -- and scale globally.”

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