The number of smart poles installed within urban settings will exceed 10.8m globally by 2030 according to new research from technology intelligence firm ABI Research.

Smart poles are defined by ABI as “multi-functional aggregation points'' which support the deployment of ‘smart urban infrastructure’ including 5G small cells, wifi hotspots, renewable energy generation handsets, drones and charging points for electric vehicles. Key vendors in the smart pole sector already include Signify, Ubicquia, Verizon, Huawei and Nokia and ABI predicted that “more smart streetlight suppliers will venture into smart pole technologies”.

However, the report’s authors also noted that barriers slowing down smart pole adoption including sensor data privacy concerns and issues over co-ownership mean that the acceleration in smart pole installations is unlikely to begin until nearer the end of the decade.

The key finding from ABI’s Smart Poles and Street Platforms report estimated that benefits offered by smart poles in terms of cost savings, deployment time, scaling opportunities and future-proof modularity would translate into revenues amounting to $60bn by 2030.

Dominique Bonte, vice president of end markets and verticals at ABI, said: “The relevance of smart poles for smart cities is huge. They offer an efficient, scalable, and modular framework for deploying the whole spectrum of smart urban infrastructure.

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