San Diego, Verizon announce partnership to upgrade city’s wireless tech

SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego announced a partnership Monday with Verizon to improve the city’s wireless capacity and begin the process of introducing 5G cellular network technology.

Verizon will make an investment of more than $100 million in local technology infrastructure, such as the installation of wireless equipment cells on city-owned light poles, to extend internet coverage and capability and increase public safety.

The company will also offer 500 smartphones to the San Diego Police Department and 50 tablets to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to make their communication infrastructure more efficient.

“Together, we’re creating a platform of innovation with the latest smart city technology, supporting the city’s focus on creating a digitally inclusive and connected city that benefits all residents and businesses for decades to come,” said Ed Chan, Verizon’s senior vice president of engineering.

Eventually, Verizon plans to roll out 5G technology in San Diego, which the city says will enhance the region’s economic might. In turn, the city plans to streamline the tech infrastructure installation process by creating a master permit to make it easier for telecommunications companies to install fiber optic internet.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilman Chris Cate joined Chan to announce the partnership and tout the city’s present and future technological capabilities.

“San Diego is a city of innovation with a long history of using groundbreaking technologies to make our city and the world a better place,” Faulconer said. “Working together with Verizon, this agreement is going to provide resources that will further enhance cellular service for residents, keep communities safer and lower costs for taxpayers.”

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