Internet of Things (IoT) coverage in Scotland is to be extended with the launch of four new IoT networks in Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, and Orkney, where local communities and businesses will benefit from state-of-the-art connectivity.
Following the roll out of a LoRa low power wide range network across Glasgow, a consortium of experts, including CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, Boston Networks, and Stream Technologies, will work with local partners to deploy the LoRa networks.
By allowing a host of everyday objects to send and receive data efficiently and reliably, the LoRa network will enable companies, communities, and public services in both urban and rural environments to develop a range of new 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 at a Westminster Forum conference, the Scottish Government’s commitment to making the country a leader in IoT technologies.
Mark Begbie, Business Development Director at CENSIS, said:
“Scotland has all the ingredients required to be a world-class digital location. 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.”
Scott McEwan, Chief Executive of Boston Networks, commented:
“The LoRa roll out offers open, secure, carrier-grade Low Power Wide Area connectivity to endless Smart Building, Smart City and Smart Community applications throughout Scotland’s remote and diverse landscape, which will benefit our people and businesses for years to come.”
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.