The Milton Keynes Low Power Wide Area Network Project (MKLPWAN) is one of the first large-scale, pilot/demonstrators for IoT telecommunications in the world.
Working with a consortium comprising of the Future Cities Catapult, Milton Keynes Council, The Open University and BT, we have taken the opportunity to build on the technical capabilities started by the MK:Smart initiative.
The primary vision of the project is to generate a city-wide open access demonstration platform for the Internet of Things, based on open access using license exempt wireless modules operating as a MKLPWAN.
It has two key aims:
- A platform for new connected sensors which support the Milton Keynes Future Cities concept, enabling them to investigate new use cases and business models that are not possible with current wireless technologies.
- A large scale open access platform covering Milton Keynes providing infrastructure as well as access mechanisms and tools for SMEs to experiment with innovative, connected sensors, reinforcing the UK as the place to develop new IoT businesses.
The project will demonstrate the ability of a city-wide M2M infrastructure to cope with a large number of static and mobile sensors. Alongside an initial deployment of available sensors, it will become an open platform for new sensor applications.
Some of these will support use cases for Milton Keynes Council, but the mission for the project is to attract other SMEs to use the infrastructure, through open access, as a test bed for commercial applications which need not be specific to Milton Keynes.
The Catapult has put out an Open Call for small businesses interested in helping to stimulate innovation in this area.
As well as access to the Open Data Hub successful SMEs will have access to the low-power wireless modules and Software Development Kits to allow them to develop their applications and business models.
As these new sensors are deployed and case studies published, the platform should become a virtuous circle, attracting new companies, new innovation from existing companies and self-supporting funding. With this level of activity, the infrastructure providers can start to investigate real-world M2M access models.