Launch coincides with the Scottish Government’s announcement to explore how it can become a leader in IoT technologies
Coverage of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been extended in Scotland to organisations and communities in Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley and Orkney. It follows the roll-out of other low power wide area (LoRa) networks in Glasgow and Inverness. It means both rural and urban areas can explore the benefits of the IoT.
A consortium of experts are involved in deploying the networks which include CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, and IoT and smart city connectivity specialists Stream Technologies and Boston Networks.
Allowing a host of everyday, even small and battery-powered, objects to send and receive data efficiently and reliably, the LoRa network will enable companies, communities, and public services to develop a range of new products and services. For example, the network could be used to develop building and indoor environmental monitors, pollution sensors, tags for tracking valuable assets or livestock, and social care devices designed to support independent and assisted living.
News of the initiative comes as Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, announced yesterday (26 October) at a Westminster Forum conference the Scottish Government’s commitment to explore making the country a leader in IoT technologies.
“Scotland has all the ingredients required to be a world-class digital location,” said Mark Begbie, business development director at CENSIS: “As we roll out LoRa across the country, the affordable, open networks will give SMEs low-cost access to next-generation connectivity, helping them to grow through the development of new solutions and devices with global export potential.
“These new IoT networks will be a force for public good too, through the monitoring and protection of the vulnerable in society, as well as our historic sites and the environment. At the same time, they will open up opportunities for communities to develop their own solutions across a diverse set of potential applications.
“As we look to roll out the network through more urban and rural areas in Scotland, it will create a great deal of exciting opportunities for businesses and government across the country. It will also further our understanding of the potential benefits of this technology in both urban and rural economies. The IoT has the potential to be as disruptive as the internet has been already to daily life.”
The deployment of the LoRa network in Orkney will build on the island’s existing TV White Space (TVWS) technology, which uses VHF/UHF channels, released by the analogue TV switch-off, to transmit internet traffic wirelessly over long distances. It will complement this radio infrastructure for broadband delivery, by bringing top-of-the-range IoT connectivity to an island that has traditionally been right at the edge of internet and mobile networks.
Meanwhile, implementation throughout Paisley and parts of wider Renfrewshire will enhance the city’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. The network will be used to monitor local social housing for damp and help tackle fuel poverty, as well as many other potential applications.
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