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IoT network could transform public services

It is seen as a major step towards nationwide IoT coverage, allowing public and private sectors and communities to benefit

Mark Begbie believes the announcement opens the way for better delivery of public services
Mark Begbie believes the announcement opens the way for better delivery of public services

Capital, a provider of technology-enabled business services, is proposing to roll out an Internet of Things (IoT) capability across the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN), Scotland’s public-sector network infrastructure.


The announcement is a major step towards nationwide IoT coverage, allowing public sector, businesses and communities Scotland-wide to benefit from digital connectivity. It has been welcomed by CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, which shares the vision of nationwide IoT connectivity.


“With nationwide IoT connectivity, Scotland’s public sector can improve the way data is gathered and used – opening the way for better delivery and planning of public services,” says Dr Mark Begbie, business development director at CENSIS. “Through SWAN, the gains will be brought to rural and remote areas of Scotland – delivering the Scottish Government’s “outside-in” approach."


He continued: "We’re proud to have been asked to play a key role in fostering the collaboration, infrastructure, new technology and business models, building on the work of the Scottish Government Public Wireless Programme, that made this initiative possible.


"Bringing together public- and private-sector agencies, we’ve worked successfully with Capita and a number of SWAN members to deliver against the Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy, proving the value of this technology through pilot projects now poised to result in concrete benefits."


CENSIS has provided leadership and engineering expertise to the initiative, which will see a cutting-edge LoRaWAN integrated into SWAN. Capita proposes to roll out a number of LoRa gateways, reaching across Scotland.


Mike MacDonald, head of digital and innovation for Capita SWAN, said: “The partnership with CENSIS has been instrumental in making the pilots successful, from inception through to delivery and ongoing support. Our IoT capability will help stimulate SMEs across Scotland to drive new and innovative solutions in partnership with SWAN.”


In combination with SWAN, LoRaWAN will enable Scotland’s public sector to use IoT and sensor technology to gather better data on a wide range of areas, potentially ranging from environmental monitoring, to maintenance and monitoring of assets, to health and social care.


In addition, there could be opportunities for Scottish companies to support this activity and the development of new and innovative services.


‘We see a role here too for CENSIS,” explained Begbie. “So, not only have we been the catalyst for the genesis and roll-out of this initiative, but we can support suppliers to develop products and services to help the public sector make the most of the technology. This in turn could create exportable products, services and expertise for Scottish businesses.’


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