Smart city at scale, Amazon's big step in the race for 5G

Smart City at Scale, Amazon’s Big Step in the Race for 5G

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Amazon along with AT&T is looking to build a robust 5G network in Virginia for Amazon’s second headquarters in Virginia.

Amazon in 2018 announced it would build a second headquarters in Northern Virginia, US. Since that time, developers and business groups have sought to transform Crystal City, in the part of Arlington County that has been renamed National Landing. The project along with AT&T seeks to transform Crystal City as “the most connected city in the country”.

On Tuesday, the area’s leading developer laid out a vision with AT&T to build the country’s first “smart city at scale”. Developer JBG Smith will team with AT&T to build a robust 5G network from the ground up within a four-mile zone that includes office, residential and retail space, and Amazon’s upcoming second headquarters.

In a post-pandemic future where some office workers adopt a hybrid work schedule, the project also aims to connect residents of the area, which includes parts of neighbouring Pentagon City and Potomac Yards, to “next-generation” 5G technology.

According to Bloomberg, the companies say the high-speed connectivity will lay the groundwork for National Landing to be a testbed for a range of urban innovations involving sensors, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technology: anything from autonomous cars to “smart” lighting that can track air quality, to robotics that help healthcare companies better monitor their clients’ medication.

Virginia Tech is already slated to bring a 65-acre innovation campus to the area, while Amazon has submitted plans for its $2.5 billion double-helix glass office tower overlooking some 2.5 acres of public green space. The National Landing Business Improvement District has also outlined plans for $4 billion worth of transportation projects. If all goes according to plan, a robust 5G infrastructure brings the area one step closer to becoming what the companies describe in their press release as “the most connected city in the country”.

 

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