Glasgow adopts smart city IoT network

Glasgow has become one of the latest European cities to pioneer an IoT network, as it bids to roll-out its smart city project.

As part of a project between Stream Technologies, Semtech Inc, Boston Networks and CENSIS, a wireless IoT network has been installed in the Scottish city.

Developed in partnership with three Glasgow-based universities, the network covers 12km and includes popular areas such as the commercial centre, Merchant City and the West End.

Facilitating IoT tech

The aim of the network is to facilitate smart city technologies like indoor sensors, environmental monitors, pollution sensors, social care tags and devices for tracking assets.

Currently, it’s being used to monitor air quality and enhance transport systems in the city, but Semtech’s LoRa geolocation solution is introducing new possibilities as the project enters its next phase.

As a result of this addition, the network is now able to pinpoint the location of devices without consuming loads of battery power. This, the firms say, will open up “a host of new applications”.

They say the system has the ability to provide a low-power, cheaper way of connecting different technologies, which lets the public, businesses and developers use and develop IoT infrastructure.

Exciting time for IoT, smart city projects

Nigel Chadwick, CEO of Stream Technologies, said: “This is an exciting development in the story of the IoT and the next wave of internet technology.

“The LoRaWAN network we’ve set up in Glasgow is one of the most advanced in the world – and is the perfect demonstrator for how it can be rolled out across other cities.

“The model will allow businesses to start up their own IoT networks with just one or two devices, and scale-up to the point where they have hundreds, or even thousands, of connected ‘things’.

“That might sound like it is purely focused on technology companies, but the network could be used by practically any organisation – or even individuals. Its potential is awe-inspiring and it’s happening right here in Glasgow city centre.”

Related: Is LoRa the game-changer for IoT?

Ultimate opportunity

Richard Lansdowne, senior director of network system solutions for at Semtech, said his firm was looking for a way to test its new LoRa geolocation tech so this partnership has been great opportunity.

He said: “Semtech needed a representative deployment in both urban and non-urban environments to extensively test our new LoRa geolocation hardware and software.

“Since the other members of this collaboration have already been successfully working together with LoRaWAN for some time, this was a great opportunity to do so.

“This project is a valuable opportunity for our team and has helped move the successful deployment of our LoRa geolocation solution forward.”

Glasgow was chosen to test tech because it shares similarities with many other cities around the world. For instance, it has a grid system like US conurbations and includes a mix of urban areas.

Glasgow leading the way

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “Glasgow is once again leading the way in the technological development of its city centre.

“Making our urban zones smarter is important for future management and it’s fantastic to see a collaboration of this scale. An advanced IoT network will bring many benefits, not only to the people living and working in the city, but the region’s overall economy as businesses specialising in the sector are attracted to our offering.”

Related: Gothenburg joins smart cities bandwagon