Jerusalem will be Israel’s first city – and one of a handful of major cities in the world – to establish an independent municipal wireless network based on super-fast millimeter wave technology.

The network will enable “smart city” services in such areas as security and safety, emergency response, parking and traffic solutions, fast Internet access for schools and free Wi-Fi throughout Jerusalem. Many of these initiatives will be coordinated with Cisco, a multinational company with a large R&D presence in Israel.

“We are placing Jerusalem in line with the world’s leading smart cities,” said Mayor Nir Barkat in a statement issued May 17, a week before Jerusalem Day today (May 24), marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city.

“This solves a big problem for us in smart-city implementation because we cannot deploy fiber optics in Jerusalem due to the rocky topography,” Eitan Barzilay, chief innovation officer at Jerusalem’s Economic and Technological Business Development Administration, tells ISRAEL21c on his way to London to serve on a panel about smart cities at the Internet of Things World Forum.

The Israeli companies Ceragon (Tel Aviv) and Siklu (Petah Tikva) are prominent players in advanced wireless technology installations around the world. San Francisco, New York and London are among the few cities that have implemented millimeter wave technology so far.

The frequencies used by the network are free and safe, according to a municipality statement. The system is secure and emits less radiation than a standard home router.

The new communications network is to be deployed within three months. By the end of 2017 it is expected to include dozens of active links.

“From one of the oldest cities in the world, we are sending the most innovative news in the country, and the innovative technology we will establish in Jerusalem will enable us to upgrade many services,” said Barkat.