Launch coincides with the Scottish Government's announcement to explore how it can become a leader in IoT technologies
Scotland's Internet of Things (IoT) coverage is set to be extended to organisations and communities in Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley and Orkney, who will benefit from state-of-the-art connectivity, with the launch of new IoT networks in each location. 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, which includes CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, Stream Technologies and Boston Networks, will work with local partners at all of the sites to deploy LoRa® networks in each location.
By allowing a host of everyday objects, including small battery-powered devices, to send and receive data efficiently and reliably, LoRa® networks enable companies, communities and public services to develop a range of new IoT products and services. For example, the networks 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 on the 26th of 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."
Nigel Chadwick, CEO of Stream Technologies said: "Scotland is demonstrating clear leadership in IoT technologies. Use of Stream's IoT-X™ connectivity management platform, which enables LoRa deployments as well as satellite and cellular, is increasingly being adopted around the world for IoT connectivity and billing. Smart City enablement and societal benefits derived from IoT technology is accelerating at a spectacular speed and our technology is key to efficient, resilient and reliable IoT network deployment."
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.