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UK Internet of Things network will make us smarter

Arqiva IoT project to include 10 cities, including London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham
Fri May 16 2014, 13:47

NETWORKING FIRM Arqiva is building a mobile network to support Internet of Things (IoT) projects in the UK's largest cities, paving the way for this area of innovation.

Arqiva will build and manage the network in 10 major cities in the UK, including London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. It will use the 868MHz spectrum, which requires no licence to use, making it quick to get up and running.

Furthermore, this frequency will enable the firm to manage the transmission of data using sensors from a French company called Sigfox, which solves a number of the challenges facing IoT deployments.

Sigfox services are already in use in France, Spain and Russia. The company specialises in building sensors that can send data over long distances and have battery lives of between 15 and 20 years.

This combination of low power use and high distance transmission frequency capabiltiies makes it ideal for IoT projects, Arqiva MD of smart metering and machine-to-machine Wendy McMillan explained.

"The Sigfox technology is ideal because it address the problems of traditional mobile solutions such as battery life and price and allows you to put sensors in all manner of locations and then transmit data," she said.

"You could put sensors in parking spaces to let people know if a space was free, or to gather climate data on water levels and humidity, or in-building information, essentially anything for someone that may have a need for that data.

Internet of Things street furniture gathering data

Once the network is up and running, which is scheduled to be in about 12 months, it will then be possible for organisations such as councils to work with Arqiva to install sensors where relevant and start transmitting and gathering data.

"Investing in this network allows the UK to be at the forefont of IoT developments and, as this technology expands, the sort of application it could lead to is huge," McMillan added.

The remaining cities it will hook up are Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Leicester and Sheffield. Further rollouts will then take place.

The Internet of Things is seen as one of the major areas of innovation that could transform everyday life, and firms across the technology sector are looking to be at the forefont of this revolution. µ


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