London launches dedicated IoT support network

23 Sep 2016

London. Image: Shutterstock

In a bid to encourage the adoption of internet of things (IoT) throughout London, a new network of base stations has been created.

A new network specifically dedicated to “battery-operated things” has been established in London as a way of kick-starting a shift towards IoT.

It’s a series of some 50 base stations throughout the city under the Digital Catapult Centre’s Things Connected initiative, with plans to expand the project in the future.

Future Human


Free to use, the hope is this Things Connected project will enable IoT entrepreneurs and developers to create “exciting and novel” products and services.

As it’s IoT, sensor deployment will probably be the first port of call, with applications and subsequent services created on the back of that.

It’s a test-bed, not built for any commercial operations so Things Connected’s role will be that of a research facility, or set of facilities.

Gateways relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the back-end will be connected to a network server via IP, “while end-devices use single-hop wireless communication to one or many gateways”, according to the project organisers.

“All end-point communication is generally bi-directional but also supports operation such as multicast, enabling software upgrade over the air or other mass distribution messages to reduce the on-air communication time,” according to LoRa Alliance.

Calling London a “global force” in the tech industry, the city’s deputy mayor for business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “If we are to stay competitive, increase productivity and make the most of opportunities for growth in this crucial sector, innovation is key.”

This, he said, will help “drive” innovation and the overall embracing of IoT throughout London.

“By continuing to make our city smart and connected, we are showing that London is open as we work to improve the lives and wellbeing of many by tackling the big issues we face in healthcare, transport and energy.”

This is part of a growing trend around the world, with the Netherlands and South Korea each with plans to achieve something similar.

KPN in the Netherlands claims it has already rolled out a nationwide IoT network, with a South Korean equivalent completed six months ahead of time.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic