London Internet of Things network switched on | Apple Mac Training UK

London Internet of Things network switched on

A London-wide network intended to connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices has been switched on this week – with plans to roll out further networks in other major cities across the UK.

Things Connected, led by ‘incubator’ Digital Catapult, comprises free-to-use 50 LoRaWAN [long-range wide-area network] base stations located across London, that will be free to use for IoT devices.

LoRaWAN base stations are capable of connecting devices over an area of around 10-15 kilometres, and the devices are power efficient, with batteries able to run for years before replacement. 

“Things Connected is starting in London but we want it to cover the UK,” said Digital Catapult CEO Jeremy Silver.

He continued: “We aim to roll Things Connected out to help remove the barriers to IoT technology for businesses, and create new revenue opportunities for entrepreneurs and for smaller and larger companies.”

Digital Catapult believes that the new network will help jumpstart the creation of IoT-based businesses in London (and elsewhere), with embedded devices connecting data from sensors monitoring pedestrian footfall and movement, traffic congestion, air quality and so on.

It also claimed that the IoT network would help to optimise delivery drones by helping to disseminate micro wind-speed and turbulence data from sensors installed across London.

London is not the first city to be covered by an IoT network rollout. Indeed, Dutch telco KPN already claims to have connected the Netherlands with the July 2016 completion of a LoRaWAN network ahead of South Korea.

The LoRaWAN standard was developed and launched last year by the LoRa Alliance, an industry body featuring a number of companies and organisations involved in IoT networking.

It is designed, in particular, for wireless, battery operated networking devices and provides, according to the Alliance, bi-directional communication in a ‘star of stars’ topology in which gateways provide a transparent bridge relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend.

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