At the end of 2016, Digital Catapult launched a competition to help companies with less than 250 employees get to grips with the development and application of the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The IoT Boost programme was launched to help companies gain hands-on experience with IoT and the Sigfox Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) system in the UK.
STFC’s Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury was one of the seven UK sites chosen by Digital Catapult to provide nine companies with flexible workspace in STFC’s Campus Technology Hub and help them develop Sigfox enabled IoT solutions to ensure their products are compatible with this technology.
Sigfox employs a proprietary technology using the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) radio band which uses 868MHz in Europe. Delivering an ultra-narrow band signal, the Sigfox network is based on a single-hop star topology. The signal can be used to cover large areas and even reach underground objects. Earlier this year, a new company, WND UK was incorporated to develop the Sigfox base station network across the entire UK and is currently on track to cover 95 percent of the UK population by the end of 2019. The Sigfox service enables IoT devices to send between 1 and 140 12-byte messages every 24 hours and is significantly less expensive per device than 3G/4G/LTE.
A WND UK Sigfox Base Station was recently installed and commissioned at Sci-Tech Daresbury and one of the campus winners of the IoT Boost competition, WaveReach Ltd, has been appointed a Channel Partner for the UK Sigfox market. To encourage the development of Sigfox for companies based at Sci-Tech Daresbury, WaveReach is offering a significant discount to all campus tenants who wish to incorporate Sigfox chipsets in their IoT devices. Additionally, WaveReach can provide advice and consulting to help campus tenants with the Sigfox testing and certification process.
A two-day hands-on workshop is being held on the 4th and 5th of October at Sci-Tech Daresbury; for more information click here.