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22 May, 2014 - 08:49 By Tony Quested

Neul at heart of first IoT city in UK

Stan-Boland-Neul-CEO

Cambridge wireless technology business, Neul and telecoms giant BT are at the heart of a scheme to build a city-wide, open access Internet of Things network in Milton Keynes, one of the UK’s fastest-growing tech towns.

The project – also supported by Milton Keynes Council and The Open University – will demonstrate the ability of a city-wide M2M infrastructure to cope with a large number of static and mobile sensors.

The technology is being supplied and managed by Neul and  BT. Working with the council, they will install a network of Weightless™ base stations to provide coverage across the city for low power, connected sensors.

The consortium also features Connected Digital Economy Catapult and Future Cities Catapult. With the university, the council and technology corporates involved they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build the city-wide, open access demonstration network.

It will combine cutting edge technologies designed to accelerate the development of smart tech cities built around Machine2Machine capability and the IoT vision.

The project will demonstrate the ability of a city-wide M2M infrastructure to cope with a large number of static and mobile sensors. While some of these will support use cases for Milton Keynes Council the broader mission is to attract many other innovators to use the infrastructure as a test bed for commercial applications, new products and services. These need not be specific to Milton Keynes.

BT and Neul will install a network of Weightless™ base stations to provide coverage across the city for low power, connected sensors.

Neul CEO Stan Boland said: “We’re excited to be announcing the first dedicated, city-wide network for the IoT here in the UK. Neul’s low-power, open-access, wide-area network solution provides the key to unlocking a vast variety of new applications, previously impossible or uneconomical with existing communications technologies.”

Alan Ward, head of corporate ICT practice at BT added: “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 collaboration will deploy large numbers of IoT sensors over its 18-month span as well as proving a range of different business models in a real world environment.

It is intended that it will remain as a long term development environment and platform for IoT innovation, attracting global companies to Milton Keynes.

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