New partnership announced creating the UK’s largest LPWAN network deployment
and innovation community.
London, 14 June 2018 – Digital Catapult’s Things Connected initiative has partnered with
The Things Network (TTN). This collaboration brings together two well-established initiatives
in the UK, creating Britain’s largest free-to-use LoRaWAN network and innovation
UK innovators will now be able to develop and build Internet of Things (IoT) solutions on a
network of over 400 base stations across the country. It brings together the existing Things
Connected regions (London, North-East, and Northern Ireland) and the 63 local TTN
communities with over 700 members and 250 gateways. Things Connected innovation
programmes are now more accessible and inclusive to UK entrepreneurs no matter where
LPWAN wireless networks such as LoRaWAN and SigFox are designed to allow connected
devices such as sensors to communicate small amounts of data over large distances using
tiny amounts of power. They enable new, disruptive smart services and solutions in areas
such as digital manufacturing, smart cities, health and social care. These remote sensors or
actuators can run for many years on a single battery, located many miles from network
Things Connected was established in 2016 by Digital Catapult at a time when the UK lacked
significant national LPWAN coverage. Its aim has been to stimulate UK innovation, and
accelerate the adoption of low power networking technologies by IoT innovators. TTN has
grown over the last three years in parallel with Things Connected, with a global free-to-use
open network service that has crowd-sourced base station coverage.
Through the Things Connected programme, Digital Catapult has enabled over 700
innovators to experiment with IoT technologies, leading to new products and services being
brought to market in the UK and abroad. Thousands can now access the combined network
for testing and product development.
Peter Karney, Head of Product Innovation, Digital Catapult says, “LPWAN connectivity
will be the driving force behind the uptake of IoT, bringing new companies and services to
market. This partnership enables us to expand and accelerate UK innovation.’’
Wienke Giezeman from TTN commented, “UK innovators can now deploy LoRaWAN
solutions more seamlessly across the region and fuel further collaboration to benefit the UK
economy. Companies too will also be able to demonstrate their services globally, with TTN
nodes available across the six continents.’’
The combined network is expected to be self-sustaining and continue to grow through
community-support, as both TTN in the UK and Things Connected have over the past two
Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation Centre, driving
early adoption of technologies to make UK businesses more competitive and productive and
grow the country’s economy.
We connect large established companies, startup and scaleup businesses and researchers
to discover new ways to solve big challenges in the manufacturing and creative industries.
Through this collaboration businesses are supported to develop the right technologies to
solve problems, increase productivity and open up new markets faster.
Digital Catapult provides physical and digital facilities for experimentation and testing that
would otherwise not be accessible for smaller companies.
As well as breaking down barriers to technology adoption for startups and scaleups, our
work de-risks innovation for large enterprises and uncovers new commercial applications in
immersive, future networks, and artificial intelligence technologies.
Digital Catapult’s ambition is to stimulate innovative LPWAN solutions in the UK, first by
providing access to widespread free-to-use networks for early development and testing, and
then by encouraging the development of larger scale commercial networks for launching and
scaling services. WND, a partner to Things Connected, have recently scaled a national,
commercial SigFox network, and within the next few years “Narrow-band IoT” is also
expected to emerge in the UK.
Things Connected is an initiative that supports UK businesses using LPWAN technologies. It
offers an open network for the experimenting with and prototyping of new IoT products and
services that can benefit from the unique features of LoRaWAN and SigFox.
The Things Network is a global community of more than 40000 active members from over
97 countries around the world bringing together startups, developers, businesses along with
universities and governments in building a public Internet of Things data network. It is based
on the technology called LoRaWAN™ which is perfect for the Internet of Things as it is low
energy, long range and low bandwidth. Because the costs are very low, people no longer
have to rely on large telco corporations to build such a network. Instead, the network can be
crowdsourced and made publicly available. The entire city of Amsterdam was covered within
6 weeks which led to inspire hundreds of cities around the world to do the same.