Buckinghamshire town Milton Keynes is set to become an Internet of Things (IoT) trailblazer thanks to a new initiative being led by BT and IoT/M2M specialist Neul. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding with Connected Digital Economy Catapult, Future Cities Catapult, Milton Keynes Council and The Open University to build a M2M white space network with static and mobile sensors.
The firms will install Neul Weightless base stations across Milton Keynes to create a test bed for the council and other public- and private-sector organisations to try out IoT applications.
“Milton Keynes is already known as a pioneer in the use of technology to make our city more efficient, as evidenced by the current MK:Smart project,” said Geoff Snelson, director of strategy at Milton Keynes Council.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to extending that to a city-wide level of access. As well as providing a test-bed for our own specific use cases, this will bring new innovation and business development to the city, creating an ecosystem of IoT development.”
Neul said that the network will be the first of its kind in the UK, and will open up a range of local possibilities.
“We’re excited to be announcing the first dedicated, city-wide network for the IoT here in the UK,” said Neul chief executive Stan Boland. “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.”
Motorists and residents will be the first to benefit from the network. “We have two launch applications for the network, Parking Sensors and Smart Bins,” said Boland. “The Future Cities Catapult and Milton Keynes council have been studying the applications which matter to local residents and further will follow.”
BT and Neul began working together on white space trials late last year, while Microsoft has also experimented with the technology in Scotland.