The days are numbered for the likes of 3G, 4G and Wi-FI, in Scotland at least, with the confirmation of a new project dubbed 'IoT Scotland', which will bring LoRa, a new communication technology, to the Scottish mainland over the next three years.
LoRa, a shortening of ‘long range’, is touted as the replacement for traditional means of wireless communication, which utilises certain radio bands for connectivity. The advantages are plentiful, but the key takeaways are that LoRa is both comfortable with long distances, and operates at low power, thus keeping costs of operation much lower than traditional installations.
The lion’s share of the investment is being fronted by the Scottish Government, weighing in at £2.7m, with the rest being distributed between various stakeholders across both private and public sectors. Falk Bleyl, the CTO of Boston Networks, one of the public sector investors, has strong optimism about the technology and speaks enthusiastically about the project:
“The wide reaching network, which will be the most advanced in the UK, has the potential to revolutionise the use of smart technologies and will be rolled out in cities, towns and rural areas across the country.
“The network will allow a wide range of users, from small IoT start-ups to multinationals to focus on the deployment of sensors and applications, rather than network build.”
The Internet of Things has long been a buzz-word in the industry, which encompasses an almost unfathomable amount of wireless technologies and applications, but the Scottish Government are keen to apply this new technology to not only revolutionise Scottish industries, from farming and agriculture, to manufacturing, road networks and more, but to put Scotland on the map as one of the pioneering countries in which these new technologies are championed and brought to fruition.
Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, Kate Forbes said: “The internet of things is set to transform every sector of our economy, from manufacturing to agriculture and presents an exciting opportunity to revolutionise the way businesses and the public sector across Scotland work.
“Our £2.7 million investment in this project underpins our vision of a Scotland that stimulates innovation, welcomes investment and promotes its digital industries.
“We want Scotland to be recognised internationally as a natural test bed for innovation in connectivity which is why we are investing in our digital infrastructure.
“As the network is rolled out across the country, it will enable companies to innovate, providing low-cost access to next-generation connectivity, helping organisations develop new solutions and devices with global export potential.”