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City of Las Vegas bets on NTT for largest private 5G network in US

Sin City sees no gamble in placing its chips on private 5G networks in new infrastructure designed to create opportunities for businesses, government and educational institutions

Amid the maelstrom of hotels, entertainment, gambling and dining establishments, it is easy to forget that Las Vegas is one of the most connected cities in the world.

Las Vegas is raising its stake on mobile connectivity with the deployment of a private 5G network to serve as an open platform available to local businesses, government and educational institutions for deploying solutions designed to enrich the lives of citizens and visitors alike.

“Our goal is always to make the City of Las Vegas the best possible community for residents and visitors by enhancing education, workforce development and safety,” said Michael Sherwood, chief innovation officer for City of Las Vegas.

“To do this, we needed to expand our wireless capabilities and city-wide connectivity, and that is why the City of Las Vegas chose to work with NTT. With their broad range of capabilities, NTT is helping enable the City of Las Vegas to become an important technology hub and strong economic base.”

Las Vegas first began partnering with NTT in 2018, leveraging NTT Smart Solutions to improve safety, situational awareness, traffic congestion and wrong way driving in the city using sensors, the internet of things (IoT), big data and predictive analytics. In 2020, NTT and Las Vegas announced the expansion of the Accelerate Smart Project to include Smart Park use cases at several locations, which helped to improve public safety and provide a better experience for citizens and visitors.

The new project will see NTT working with partners to more than double the number of network access points (APs) throughout Las Vegas. The company noted that, unlike most citizens broadband radio spectrum (CBRS) deployments, which are in-building or industrial, this network will extend across public spaces. It’s also the first network of its size to be open to third-party APs and end-user devices. It puts Las Vegas well on the path to becoming a technology hub for citizens and organisations within the city limits. 

The network is powered by what is said to be a first-of-its-kind open wireless smart platform from the global IT infrastructure and services company. The project involves deploying and provisioning NTT’s P5G to build what the tech firm claims will be the most extensive private network in the US.

As the lead in the multi-party, multi-phase project, NTT will implement its P5G platform which encompasses the LTE/5G network as a service that integrates security, control and privacy by design and allows enterprises and other customers to flexibly secure, scale and segment their networks. 

P5G local area network (LAN) technology provider, Celona, is working with NTT on this project. One of Celona’s contributions is a software-defined operational model that can track key performance indicators for an open ecosystem of market-leading device and app providers.

NTT believes that the City of Las Vegas municipality, its stakeholders and its business community will benefit from the capabilities of a P5G network, including ultra-low latency, greater reliability, massive capacity, seamless security and flexible management.

As additional use cases arise, the network will become a framework for revenue generation that can improve the city’s bottom line while supporting network maintenance, expansion and enhancement. This network model, and the new services and applications launched, can be replicated and marketed respectively in cities across the US.

NTT expects one of the first benefits for citizens after deployment in the city is the expansion of NTT Smart Solutions into new parks that will continue to provide additional safety and park services.

“The City of Las Vegas network will drive innovation and be a model for cities and businesses worldwide. Once implemented, it will be the largest open, municipal network CBRS deployment in the US,” said Shahid Ahmed, group executive vice-president of new ventures and innovation at NTT Ltd.

“With the support of NTT’s bespoke services, local organisations can use their own devices and develop their applications on the network. City-wide, residents and visitors will receive improved connectivity, safety and security, and access to healthcare and other critical services.”

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