Free IoT wireless network offered in London

October 12, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
The government supported Digital Catapult organization has launched a LoRaWAN wireless network across London intended to foster IoT-based services. The network is free for small and medium sized enterprises to use.

LoRaWAN is a protocol for long-range low power radio networks based on Semtech Corporation's LoRa (Long Range) radio modulation technique. LoRaWAN uses a star-of-stars topology in which gateways forward messages between nodes and applications in the backend.

In London the initial network consists of 50 basestations featuring LoRa technology. Digital Catapult is collaborating with British Telecom, Imperial College London, Kings College London, UCL, and Queen Mary University of London to create an IoT incubator program.

Some of the ideas proposed for the network include: using sensors to make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists by telling them where not to go; using sensors to monitor the environment; for optimizing the flight paths of delivery drones.

The work is being done under a program called "Things Connected."

In a statement, Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult, said: "Things Connected is starting in London but we want it to cover the UK." He added: "We aim to roll Things Connected out to help remove the barriers to IoT technology for businesses, and create new revenue opportunities for entrepreneurs and for smaller and larger companies."

The main rival to LoRaWAN is proprietary networks being rolled out globally by SigFox SA.