LoRa Technology incorporated into IoT network in the UK

12th October 2016
Posted By : Enaie Azambuja

Semtech announced its LoRa Wireless RF Technology is used in a LPWAN in London deployed as part of Digital Catapult’s Things Connected Program. The program aims to foster innovation by providing SMEs with free access to a LoRaWAN-based LPWAN for the purpose of deploying and testing IoT applications. The initial network consists of 50 Everynet base stations featuring LoRa technology, which would make it the largest LoRaWAN network in the UK.

It is also the result of U.K. IoT service provider Digital Catapult collaborating directly with British Telecom, Future Cities Catapult, Everynet, Beecham Research, AllThingsTalk, BRE, Imperial College London, Kings College London, UCL, and Queen Mary University of London to create an IoT incubator program designed to drive smart technology solutions in a number of different areas, including infrastructure provisioning, traffic and transport services, energy management and environmental sensing.

Some of the ideas proposed for the network include:

  • Making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists: Data from sensors that monitor traffic congestion, pedestrian footfall counts, crash impact incidents, can be used to develop recommended safe routes;
  • Improve quality of life for COPD and asthma sufferers: By offering a more cost-effective communication network, service providers delivering environmental quality analysis could access a much richer and more detailed network of multiple sensor data-points across London, in areas giving temperature, air quality and humidity. This data could be used by COPD and asthma sufferers to better prepare for the day or manage their symptoms more proactively;
  • Optimising delivery drones: The way companies deliver items is likely to be transformed over the coming years, thanks to advances in drone technology. To help this become a reality, the deployment of micro wind speed and turbulence sensors across London could help with the routing and battery optimisation. This has the potential to further increase viability of drones as a means for delivering items quickly and efficiently across the capital.

What participants of Things Connected program are saying:

Chris Sims, Managing Director, British Telecom, said: “The Internet of Things has the potential to fundamentally change how we live, work and do business. “But only by taking an open, collaborative approach can we truly maximise that potential, and help our customers to engage with this exciting new world of IoT technologies. We’re proud to be playing our part in making Things Connected a success, and helping London and the UK to build an exciting future as a leader in IoT.”

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult, said: “Things Connected is starting in London but we want it to cover the UK. To capture more of the digital dividend in the UK economy, we need to accelerate the adoption of the Internet of Things. We believe a LoRaWAN-based network featuring Semtech’s LoRa Technology will empower London’s terrific tech community to test their IoT innovations so they can begin to improve the quality of life for those living or working across the capital. 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.”

Tracy Hopkins, GM, Everynet said: “This network will enable both application and sensor companies to develop LoRaWAN products and test them with ease. “The Things Connected testbed will drive innovation and contribute to a growing ecosystem that will ultimately deliver scale for the IoT.”

“Digital Catapult’s Things Connected program shows how private enterprises, educational institutions and local governments can work together to create a technology program that encourages companies to deploy and test innovative IoT solutions for their cities,” said Marc Pegulu, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless and Sensing Product Group at Semtech. “By setting up the LoRaWAN network and providing free access, Digital Catapult has made it easy for SMEs across London to test and bring their great IoT ideas to market.”

Semtech, Digital Catapult, and Everynet are members of the LoRa Alliance, a group of more than 400 companies committed to driving and enhancing the LoRaWAN specification to ensure interoperability and scalability of LPWANs and IoT applications. Through its work with member companies and IoT industry groups, it is making LoRaWAN the standard for LPWANs focused on low power, long range IoT applications. To date, there are LoRaWAN public and private networks in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Key Features of Semtech LoRa RF Technology:

• Long Range: A single LoRa base station enables deep penetration capability for dense urban environments and indoor coverage, while also providing the ability to connect to sensors more than 15-30 miles away in rural areas;
• Low Power: The LoRaWAN protocol was developed specifically for low power and enables unprecedented battery lifetime of up to 20 years depending on the application; 
• Low Cost: LoRa reduces up front infrastructure investments and operating costs, as well as end-node sensor costs;
• Standardised: LoRaWAN ensures interoperability among applications, IoT solution providers and telecom operators to speed adoption and deployment.


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