London’s BT Tower is the world’s highest IoT base station
London's BT Tower is the world's highest IoT base station
London's BT Tower is the world's highest IoT base station

London’s BT Tower is the world’s highest IoT base station

The BT Tower in London, UK, has become the highest building in the world to host an Internet of Things (IoT) base station, at a height of 180 meters.

BT has partnered with Digital Catapult and Everynet to ensure that the easily recognizable building is now part of London’s Things Connected network – a program launched earlier this year in a bid to drive innovation in the city.

BT is helping to deliver the network and is also supplying 25 of the 50 LoRaWAN base stations in London. The company said that 18 base stations are currently in place with the rest set to be installed this financial year.

Ultimately, Things Connected aims to be an open IoT testbed, free of charge for users across London. Its network is due to be switched on in early 2017.

Related: Ireland set to benefit from Semtech’s LoRa IoT Network

BT Tower a significant focal point

LoRaWAN is a network architecture designed to support low-cost, mobile communication for connected technologies. In theory, the installation of this network should reduce some of the barriers currently facing IoT start-ups in the capital.

Indeed, BT said small businesses, start-ups and the local community in central London have been asked to submit ideas on the Digital Catapult website about how they plan to use the Things Connected network. The hope is that this will encourage them to investigate how the IoT can transform their business or daily lives.

Related: Scotland broadens IoT landscape with four LoRa projects

What they said

Commenting on the deal, Chris Sims, MD strategy, Marketing and Mobile, BT Wholesale & Ventures, said: “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. 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.”

Dr. Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult, said: “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.”

Tracy Hopkins, GM EMEA of IoT connectivity provider, Everynet suggested London is leading the way with LPWA technology. She said: “This network will not only enable SME’s 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 with low power wide area network (LPWAN) technologies. It also intends to create similar networks in other parts of the UK.

Businesses and innovators interested in finding out how they can test their IoT innovations with Things Connected once the full network goes live can do so by visiting the website.