Stan Boland, CEO of Neul, which is supplying some of the technology for the new network

First city-wide Internet of Things network announced

The UK’s first city-wide open access demonstration Machine to Machine and Internet of Things network will be launched in Milton Keynes.

The project will be based on the Weightless communications standard and will be used to demonstrate the ability of a city-wide M2M infrastructure to cope with a large number of static and mobile sensors.

The technology is being supplied and managed by BT and Neul who, working with Milton Keynes Council, will install a network of Weightless base stations to provide coverage across the city for low power, connected sensors to allow innovators to use the infrastructure as a test bed for commercial applications, new products and new services.

“We see this exciting project as a means of establishing an open innovation environment to support the creation of M2M and IoT applications across a whole city,” said Alan Ward, head of corporate ICT practice at BT.  

“This could include anything from intelligent monitoring of parking spaces in the city to networked bins which signal when they need collecting. The project will showcase BT’s capability in managing network services for these applications which will be pivotal in making this initiative a success.”

The announcement comes following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by a consortium of technology companies, the Connected Digital Economy Catapult, the Future Cities Catapult, Milton Keynes Council and The Open University.

“We’re excited to be announcing the first dedicated, city-wide network for the IoT here in the UK” said Stan Boland, CEO of Neul. “Neul’s low-power, open-access, wide-area network solution provides the key to unlocking a vast variety of new applications, previously impossible or uneconomical with existing communications technologies.”

The collaboration will deploy large numbers of IoT sensors over its eighteen month span as well as proving a range of different business models in a real world environment and the partners intend for it to remain in place as a long term development environment and platform for IoT technology testing.

“Milton Keynes is already known as a pioneer in the use of technology to make our city more efficient, as evidenced by the current MK:Smart project”, said Geoff Snelson, director of strategy at Milton Keynes Council.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to extending that to a city-wide level of access.  As well as providing a test-bed for our own specific use cases, this will bring new innovation and business development to the city, creating an ecosystem of IoT development.”

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