Cradlepoint’s 4G LTE connectivity gives San Antonio’s TMC ‘smart city’ potential

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Cradlepoint, one of the global leaders in cloud-based network systems for connecting people, places, and things over wired and wireless broadband, has announced that it is helping the City of San Antonio in Texas scale its traffic management system to meet high population growth expectations.

Cradlepoint has enabled San Antonio to become a smart city by streamlining its traffic management system to realize a nearly 100% rate of communication across its network, while simultaneously reducing the amount of resources needed to maintain the network. The city is currently home to 1.4 million people, so traffic congestion had become a major problem for both the residents and traffic officials when its legacy management system experienced inconsistent remote communications support. In response, the city’s authorities began using Cradlepoint’s systems for always-on, cloud-managed primary LTE connectivity across its distributed traffic network.

San Antonio’s Traffic Management Center (TMC) is responsible for nearly 1,400 intersections across the city. The city’s complex legacy network included a mesh of a dozen radio towers and 300 wired and wireless access points that served as reference nodes to the rest of the network. However, its legacy infrastructure performed inconsistently, only allowing staff to engage with about 60% of the city’s intersections. This created a serious issue, as staff need constant access to the traffic network to centrally monitor key applications, troubleshoot problems, and adjust the clocks that synchronize traffic lights and flow.

Cradlepoint helped San Antonio overcome these issues with cloud-managed COR IBR1100 LTE routers as the primary WAN source throughout the traffic management network. Most importantly, the TMC now has the scalability required to meet the city’s expected growth, without sacrificing speed or connectivity.

“As the commutes for our motorists began to slow, we knew we had to implement a new solution that would address our network communication issues. However, this could be a huge, intimidating undertaking for staff of just 16 individuals. Cradlepoint took the uncertainty out of the equation,” said Marc Jacobson, manager of the City of San Antonio’s TMC.

“Cradlepoint has changed our mindset to the point that we are beginning to come up with new ways to utilize cloud-managed LTE to make our jobs easier, and to make the ride better for everyday commuters.”

Ian Pennell, chief marketing officer at Cradlepoint, noted, “As cities grow, their infrastructure will need to adapt to the growing needs of the general public. We are dedicated to providing solutions that integrate the best of cloud, SDN, and 4G LTE, to not only address the network issues of today, but also to easily scale networks to efficiently meet future demands.

“For the City of San Antonio, this means the Traffic Management Center can initiate smart city initiatives, begin to ease traffic congestion, and create a better commuting environment for residents, tourists, and future San Antonians.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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