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BT Tower hosts world’s highest IoT base station

Steve Rogerson
December 22, 2016
 


The BT Tower in London has become what is claimed to be the highest building in the world to host an IoT base station, at a height of 180 metres. The iconic building now forms part of the expanding Things Connected network that was launched by Digital Catapult in September 2016.
 
“Installing the IoT base station at a record height on BT Tower will ensure the local area becomes a critical part of the Things Connected network,” said Chris Sims, managing director at BT Wholesale & Ventures. “The network will be instrumental in bringing about London’s transformation as a truly smart city, advancing its position as one of the best places in the world to live, work and do business.”
 
BT has partnered with Digital Catapult and Everynet to help deliver the network and is supplying 25 of the 50 LoRaWan base stations in London. Eighteen are in place and the rest will be installed this financial year. LoRaWan allows internet enabled devices to use very low power resulting in long battery life and a long range, low cost service suitable for delivering IoT applications.
 
Things Connected will be an open IoT testbed, free of charge for registered users across London. The network will be switched on in early 2017.
 
“We’re delighted that the BT Tower will be one of the base stations for Things Connected, as we look to drive open innovation across the capital,” said Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult. “Things Connected will allow us to drive IoT experimentation in areas such as traffic and transport services, energy management and environmental sensing. With the network to go live in early 2017, we are excited to create a blueprint for the use of LPWAN which can be used in cities across the UK to drive the adoption of IoT for businesses.”
 
Small businesses, start-ups and the local community in central London have been asked to submit ideas on the Digital Catapult web site about how they plan to use the Things Connected network. This will encourage them to investigate how the IoT can transform their business or daily lives.
 
“It is very exciting to have such an iconic location as a deployment site for the Things Connected network,” said Tracy Hopkins, general manager at Everynet. “London is leading innovation in the UK for LPWA. This network will not only enable SMEs to design and test cool end devices and applications, it will also allow IoT use cases to be deployed that validate real end user value and demonstrate effective business models.”
 
Digital Catapult plans to extend the network across the rest of London using LPWAN technologies. It also intends to create similar networks in other parts of the UK.