Athlone Gets First Ever IoT Network

04 Oct 2016 | 04.51 pm

Athlone Gets First Ever IoT Network

Tyndall Institute hosting conference on 'Internet of Things'

04 Oct 2016 | 04.51 pm

Ireland’s first Internet of Things  (IoT) network was switched on in Athlone, Co Westmeath today by communications minister Denis Naughten, in a joint venture between owner VT Networks, RTE’s network operation 2rn, and French company SIGFOX.

2rn has struck a partnership with VT Networks and, in exchange for shares in VT, it provided expertise and use of its national network of broadcast towers, masts and infrastructure. This allowed VT to bring a SIGFOX network, valued at €10 million, to the entire country in a record-setting five months.

SIGFOX is a French company that provides low-power, wide-area networks across the globe through partnerships with local operators. This type of connectivity is optimised for sensors and simple devices, such as GPS trackers and security systems, allowing them to send multiple messages with small amounts of information.

Since users are paying only for the bandwidth needed for these devices, they can be connected for as little as €1 per year. Low power requirements also mean the battery life of SIGFOX-enabled devices can last up to 300 times longer than those that use other connectivity options, such as traditional cellular networks.

The low-power network will enable communications between a plethora of future devices, from robots and smoke alarms to thermostats, smart watches and smart interactive billboards.

Formerly RTÉNL, 2rn operates RTE’s transmission and communication infrastructure and distributes and transmits the programme services of RTÉ radio and television, TV3, TG4, and Today FM. It provides transmission services to a local and regional radio broadcasters as well as site services to mobile telephone and broadband operators, private communications companies and the emergency services.

RTÉ director general Dee Forbes said: “I am delighted that 2rn has been able to assist in the deployment of Ireland’s first national IoT network, which will enable the important development and deployment of new products and services across rural and urban Ireland.”

IoT Conference

A conference in Croke Park next Tuesday, October 11, will cover the topics of powering the IoT and connecting the IoT. Hosted by the Tyndall National Institute, the conference will discuss subjects such as ultra-low power processing for smart sensors; energy management generation and storage; energy harvesting; data centres; network evolution and photonic enabling technologies, according to the institute’s CEO, Dr Kieran Drain.

The conference will include two keynotes plus panel discussions and live demonstrations. The first keynote titled ‘Technology roadmaps powering devices and big data in IoT’ will be delivered by Dr Steve Moffat, CTO with Applied Materials, which provides materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world.

The second keynote, ‘Enabling the Internet of Things’, will be presented by Dr Katsu Nakamura, ADI Fellow and Ultra Low Power Technology Group director at Analog Devices.

Early bird tickets are available until Thursday October 6.

 

Photo: 2rn’s Kevin White (left), VT’s Will Ferguson, minister Denis Naughten (centre), 2rn’s Mick Kehoe, VT CEO Mark Bannon and 2rn commercial manager John Clarke (right).

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