Arqiva UK IoT Wireless Network Goes Live In 10 Cities

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Arqiva and Sigfox’s ultra-narrowband M2M network is operating at least one site in all 10 locations

Arqiva has launched at least one site in all ten cities earmarked for the initial rollout of its narrowband wireless network aimed at supporting the Internet of Things (IoT).

Earlier this year, the communications infrastructure provider entered into a partnership with French firm SIGFOX to use its ultra-narrowband base station and antenna technology, which are independent of existing cellular networks.

The two companies pledged to cover Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield within 12 months and sites are live in all locations, connecting to SIGFOX’s global network.

Arqiva IoT network

InternetofThings2Arqiva, which also provides infrastructure for the broadcast, satellite and mobile industries, says ultra-narrowband is ideal for connecting objects over long distances where a long battery life and low cost are required.

“Our network is truly unlocking the promise of the Internet of Things,” says Wendy McMillan, Managing Director of Smart Metering and Machine-to-Machine solutions at Arqiva. “Together with existing connectivity, such as street-level WiFi, these cities are becoming hubs for digital innovation. A whole host of smart city and intelligent building applications can now deliver strong benefits – from smart parking and waste level monitoring through to connected smoke alarms.”

One of the first sites is in Greenwich, which is attempting to establish itself as a leader in smart city innovation and has been named as one of four UK locations to host a driverless cars trial. Local leaders claim such initiatives will improve the economy of the London Borough.

“This kind of technology will bring benefits to all our residents right across the whole of our borough and in time will really help enhance how we deliver services,” says Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. “This technology will help cities tackle economic and social challenges and will help solves issues like traffic congestion as well as enhancing security, and making heating and lighting more efficient.”

Arqiva promises that the new network will unlock “substantial” economic benefits and support innovative services for smarter homes and cites. It has been named the preferred bidder by the government to provide smart meters for the north of the UK as part of a wider £12.1 billion nationwide project, and claims its network will connect more than ten million homes.

The firm has also won the contract for the £150 million Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which will improve mobile phone signal in areas where this is no commercial case to do so. It also operates some of the UK’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) infrastructure, while it has also moved into Wi-Fi with the £23.4 million acquisition of hotspot provider Spectrum Interactive in 2012.

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