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Kansas City gets smarter thanks to Cisco and Sprint

Connected streetlamps and tourist terminals are just a few of the things the new partnership will bring to the city.

Cisco will team up with Sprint to provide Kansas City with smart light poles and free Wi-Fi.

Kansas City is about to become a more connected city.

The first phase of a 10-year project has Cisco and Sprint teaming up to bring different services to the Missouri city, according to Bloomberg. The project will begin with 125 smart streetlights installed next to a new downtown streetcar line.

Kansas City is just the latest city to attempt to smarten itself up through a wider embrace of technology, all the while attracting tourists and new residents. For Cisco, which is already in 90 smart cities, the project represents a commitment to the so-called Internet of Things trend, or the idea that all objects are connected to the Internet and can talk to each other.

As part of the deployment, downtown Kansas City will also get free Wi-Fi throughout the area, maintained by Sprint, for smartphone users and others. Sprint's network will allow the smart streetlights to deliver their data back to the city.

These smart streetlights will collect different types of data like parking and traffic, according to Munish Khetrapal, a managing director at Cisco. He also said in an email that "the core value proposition is lighting controls, energy saving, higher operating efficiency, and better asset management."

These upgrades will benefit tourists to Kansas City by allowing them to access information through Wi-Fi-connected terminals in the downtown area. The city opted to focus more on tourism and benefits to its residents and less on crime prevention. For instance, it decided not to install police surveillance cameras, according to the Bloomberg report.

This isn't the first technology upgrade that Kansas City has received. They were the first city to get Google Fiber, the tech giant's super-fast Internet service that's available in select markets.

Construction on the lighting project has already begun and the development will take around eight to 10 months. "Smart city is a journey and will continue to evolve," Khetrapal said.

Sprint wasn't available for comment.