Digital Jersey has teamed up with telecoms firm JT to build Jersey’s first Long-Range (LoRa) Wide Area Network, as it bids to attract Internet of Things (IoT) start-ups to test their products and services in the region.
The LoRa network enables devices to access the internet without using 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi. It is designed to connect low-cost, battery-operated sensors over long distances in environments that were perhaps too challenging or expensive to connect to in the past.
Potential use cases include connecting data from sensors that monitor traffic congestion feeds or pedestrian footfall counts to enable a planner to be created for the safest possible journey to take in real-time. Another use case could be to record temperature, air quality and humidity could give asthma suffers greater knowledge of their environment, enabling them to better prepare for the day ahead and manage their symptoms.
Tom Noel, managing director of JT Wholesale, told Internet of Business that the first LoRa site is working for testing, and a further nine sites are due to be installed shortly.
When asked how much the installation of the LoRa network would cost, Noel declined to go into specifics but said that the investment had been made by JT.
“It is not a significant investment as the low frequency transmitters and receivers are fixed to existing masts,” he said.
According to Noel, the return on investment of the project will come in the form of new IoT start-ups who can test their technologies. He said that they will form a part of JT Lab, which offers start-ups around the world, the opportunity to test, research, develop and launch products and services on the carrier’s infrastructure with customers in real-time.
IoB asked Noel why Digital Jersey picked JT for this particular project. He said that the relationship between the two was “a natural fit”.
“Although [JT is] an incorporated company, it is 100 percent owned by the people of Jersey. Digital Jersey, which is a government-funded organization, is charged by Jersey’s government to drive efforts to establish Jersey as an internationally recognizable center for the digital industries,” he said.