Innovative wireless network comes to Argyll and Bute towns

Published Date: 

8 Feb 2019 - 16:41

Argyll and Bute Council has signed up to a cutting-edge wireless network system that can send data between wireless devices and businesses and organisations without the need for cellular or Wi-Fi.

The IoT Scotland ‘Internet of Things’ network was launched today (Friday, February 8) by Glasgow-based Boston Networks. IoT Scotland will provide a wide area wireless sensor network for applications and services to collect and send data from devices, supporting businesses to develop new and innovative applications and change the way they work.

The term Internet of Things refers to devices such as sensors that can connect to the internet and interact and exchange data. For example, a central heating boiler alerting its owner that it requires a new part, or to monitor property, communicating changes in environmental factors, such as humidity, to owners. Boston Networks’ IoT Scotland is the UK’s most advanced Internet of Things network, and Helensburgh and Oban will be among the first places to be installed with the gateways required to access the network.

The network will work via 500 LoRa (Long Range) wireless gateways situated throughout Scotland at a total cost of £6million, part funded by £2.7m from the Scottish Government, with further support from Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and private sector investment from Boston Networks itself. There is no cost to Argyll and Bute Council.

Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Corporate Services, said: “This is a great opportunity for Argyll and Bute to be at the forefront of this new technology and we were delighted to work with Boston Networks to bring IoT Scotland to Helensburgh and Oban. While cities like Glasgow will have extensive access to IoT Scotland, it’s important that more remote areas can also benefit and we look forward to seeing the network up and running in Argyll and Bute.”

IoT Scotland will enable businesses and public sector organisations to monitor and potentially control the status, efficiency and productivity of their assets and equipment, scheduling maintenance and improving production.

For example, it could support the automated collection of temperature data from refrigeration units which could lead to greater compliance and less waste. Similarly, the network could monitor office environments to lower costs by saving energy, while reducing the carbon footprint of buildings.

Boston Networks Chief Technology Officer, Falk Bleyl, said: “We are excited to be leading this pioneering project to build and operate the IoT network and drive the commercialisation of the Internet of Things across Scotland.

"There will be a forecasted 25 billion IoT devices connected by 2025, and only a small number will be connected to the internet using 3G, 4G or WiFi. LoRa networks like IoT Scotland are going to become increasingly important.”