Internet of Things network to launch in UK next year

May 18, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog
Credit: Wikipedia

( —Mainstream talk about the Internet of Things continues unabated, as more people become familiar with the concept of having connected devices in their homes and the communities. The talk is about smart devices connected to the Internet and to each other, from meters to washing machines to fitness-tracking wearables, to kitchen devices, to far more gadgets that go "on" and "off." Depending on which analysts you talk to, forecasts range from estimates of seeing 25 billion to 50 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020, but IoT pundits also point to the challenges ahead in cost and energy use.

Addressing that challenge, UK-based communications company Arqiva announced plans on May 16 to build and run a national low-power, battery-preserving network to connect in 10 UK cities next year, in support of the Internet of Things. This will be a UK rollout starting with Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Sheffield. The network will use the SIGFOX 'ultra-narrowband' technology, with its key advantages of being suited to connect objects over long distances where a long and low cost are needed.

"Ultra-narrowband technology allows you to transmit very small amounts of data rather than big video files or anything like that. So it radically expands the number of things you can connect," said Wendy McMillan, managing director of smart metering and machine-to-machine solutions at Arqiva. "You can also have a battery life that is 15-20 years long, so you don't have to worry about having power to all the connected devices that you put out there, which is obviously a real problem with some of the mobile technologies which don't have such long battery life." Simply put, the low-power consumption allows batteries and equipment to last longer, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of replacing devices.

"This massively expands the range of devices that can be connected, increasing the benefits to consumers and businesses alike," McMillan said. The Arqiva network will become part of the SIGFOX global Internet of Things network; SIGFOX networks are deployed in France, the Netherlands, Spain, and in cities including Moscow and Munich.

Headquartered in Toulouse, France, SIGFOX has "ultra-narrowband-based radio technology" which enables long-range two-way wireless Internet connections for devices. SIGFOX, by providing low-throughput communication and extending the battery and service life of connected devices, promotes its network advantages of eliminating cost and energy-use barriers to the implementation of IoT and M2M (machine-to-machine) solutions.

Commenting on the announcement, Rodolphe Baronnet-Frugès, vice president of network and business development at SIGFOX, said that "our partnership with Arqiva is a significant part of SIGFOX's plan to establish a global cellular dedicated to the IoT."

Explore further: Energy industry ready to get smart

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Energy industry ready to get smart

May 16, 2014

We're entering the age of the Internet of Things (IoT): a brave new world populated by 'smart' objects' capable of interacting and communicating among them-selves and with their environment. This emerging ...

Freescale introduces amazingly small ARM MCU

Feb 26, 2014

Freescale Semiconductor is introducing one of the smallest ARM based Microcontroller Units (MCUs) ever, a chip that is roughly the size of a dimple on a golf ball—the Kinetis KL03. Because of its extremely ...

Connected devices in smart homes have control issues

Apr 03, 2014

( —Smart homes are growing smarter. But it all depends on how you define "smart." Smart, as in connected to the Internet, or smart as in a well-planned architecture of intelligent gadgets that ...

Base stations for 5G: Soon in our homes and on wheels?

Oct 22, 2013

In a few years, our mobile network will have to deal with a thousand times more the traffic it has to today. One possible solution is to place small base stations in our homes or cars. This is one of several ...

Wireless connections creep into everyday things

Feb 27, 2013

A car that tells your insurance company how you're driving. A bathroom scale that lets you chart your weight on the Web. And a meter that warns your air conditioner when electricity gets more expensive.

Recommended for you

'Slow motion at the speed of light'

3 hours ago

New technology developed by a collaboration between the UA and the University of California, Los Angeles, provides real-time monitoring of streaming video to optimize network traffic.

Putting net neutrality in context

Feb 27, 2015

After much litigation, public demonstration and deliberation, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3 to 2 to adopt open internet rules. While the substantive details of the decision are not yet known, the rules ...

Key facts on US 'open Internet' regulation

Feb 26, 2015

A landmark ruling by the US Federal Communications Commission seeks to enshrine the notion of an "open Internet," or "net neutrality." Here are key points:

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (5) May 18, 2014
Up until a century ago the majority believed in an all-seeing God that knew your every deed and tallied your sins. Having decided that such a being was unlikely, we set out to build one.
not rated yet May 18, 2014
Launch IoT? IoT has launched already in every country. While the number of connected devices is still limited, it is still possible to purchase these devices for use.

Ultra narrow band uses a tiny slice of the 920MHz band. To really enable IoT mass market, though, 2.4GHz and other bands will be needed.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.