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Glasgow to get 99% LoRa coverage for IoT


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Glasgow is to get 22 long range wide area network (LoRaWAN) gateways to provide it with 99% coverage as the first stage of the IoT Scotland programme.

Installation has already begun as a step towards providing the whole country with 500 gateways.

The move was announced at last week’s formal launch of IoT Scotland, which was first announced last August. The programme has now developed a pricing mechanism along with product definitions and specifications.

The Glasgow initiative will provide a wireless sensor network to collect data from internet of things devices, supporting the development of smart places throughout the country.

It came with a statement that this makes Glasgow the most LoRa covered city in the UK, with the potential to be the smartest, and news that Argyll and Bute Council has also signed up as an early adopter, with plans for early installations in Oban and Helensburgh.

Negotiations are underway with other local authorities and organisations, with full roll out planned for March 2021.

Glasgow based Boston Networks is leading the work, with the Scottish Government having contributed £2.7 million to the £6 million programme, along with money from the company, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Revolutionary potential

Falk Bleyl, chief technology officer of Boston Networks, said: "The main message is that if there is a recipient in a particular area with the potential to place the gateways across its rooftops we will roll it out on demand."

He added: “The wide reaching network, which will be the most advanced in the UK, has the potential to revolutionise the use of smart technologies and will be rolled out in cities, towns and rural areas across the country.

“The network will allow a wide range of users, from small IoT start-ups to multinationals to focus on the deployment of sensors and applications, rather than network build.”

IoT Scotland will have a longer reach than any LoRaWANs deployed so far in the UK. It will enable devices to collect and send data without the need for 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi and support the development of new IoT applications.

The Scottish Government has previously said the network could support the country’s public and private services.

Belyl said there is also a potential for other parts of the UK, although this depends on the funding availability and how it relates to how local authorities see the potential.

Image: Scott McEwan and Falk Bleyl of Boston Networks

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