Some people would do anything to make cell towers more popular. Up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wireless coverage will soon come with a little extra plus. Three low-profile cell towers deployed by TELUS will be the first in the world to combine with electric vehicle charging stations with wireless service.
The 10-foot monopole microsites were approved by the park board to be placed in a very busy area of downtown Vancouver, after 80 percent of citizens surveyed supported the deployment. The pilot project displays a municipality in forward-thinking mode. It is also an example how a carrier gain support by entering into a public/private partnership.
“If we want to keep growing our economy in Vancouver, we need smarter, innovative technology that meets our citizens’ needs – especially when it comes to the rising demand for wireless capability,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This partnership with TELUS demonstrates a creative and fiscally responsible way to provide infrastructure that supports both our economic and greenest city goals, while providing better service for taxpayers.”
TELUS is investing about $1 million to build the sites and expects to have the first one online late this year. The carrier will also lease the space for $34,000 a year for five years.
TELUS used a local urban design firm to fashion sites that would fit in with the surroundings. The enclosure with the wireless electronics will also have equipment for charging electric vehicles. A couple of parking spots will be reserved for people recharging their vehicles. The microsite and the vehicle recharger are a natural fit because they both need power, according to Shawn Hall, TELUS spokesman, who sees the big picture possibilities of a vehicle recharging station.
“It will encourage people to move to electric vehicles. You have to have the recharging infrastructure there for people to make the move. Who knows where this is going to lead. It is the first time it has been done,” Hall said. “It allows TELUS to provide critical wireless infrastructure in a busy area in central Vancouver. It will provide capacity for all of the big events that happen right there.”