BT, Neul join new IoT pilot in UK

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BT and M2M specialist Neul have joined a consortium of companies to build a city-wide M2M network in England, with the two businesses installing a network of base stations across Milton Keynes.

The open access demonstration network will be based on the Weightless communications standard, which uses secure white space spectrum to communication between base stations and devices. A large number of both static and mobile sensors will be installed over the next 18 months, with the aim of the project to provide a lab for new commercial applications, products and services that use M2M technology.

It is the second major M2M project to be announced in the UK during the past seven days. Last week, Arqiva and Sigfox revealed they were building an Internet of Things network across the United Kingdom. Initially focusing on 10 cities, the project will use ultra-narrowband technology to connect devices over long distances with low battery consumption.

Alan Ward, Head of Corporate ICT Practice at BT, said: "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. 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.”

Both BT and Neul will work alongside the Connected Digital Economy Catapult, Future Cities Catapult, Milton Keynes Council and The Open University on the project. Geoff Snelson, Director of Strategy at Milton Keynes Council, said: “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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