BT launches multi-million-pound NB-IoT network to support UK smart cities 

BT launches multi-million-pound NB-IoT network to support UK smart cities  Duncan is an award-winning researcher, with 20 years experience of analysing the technology industry, specialising in cloud computing, edge computing, blockchain, cybersecurity and marketing technology.


BT has launched its new multi-million-pound NB-IoT network, which is set to pave the way for more UK smart cities and industries – with the network covering 97% of the UK population. It is underpinned by the EE mobile network.

NB-IoT is a low-power network with the potential to transform industries such as utilities, construction, and the public sector – by securely and reliably connecting the devices to automate many processes that currently require manual oversight or direct involvement.

BT’s new NB-IoT network will enable low-data-demand assets, such as street lighting or underground water sensors, to be connected over a smart network. This will not only deliver long battery life, but it can also enhance efficiency and reduce costs (by automatically detecting leaks in water infrastructure, for example).

The rollout of the network will allow BT to help fast-track ‘smart cities’ of the future through use cases that include monitoring and optimising energy use, storage, and distribution. The agricultural industry will also stand to benefit from IoT connectivity, with BT having previously trialled sensors to monitor haystack temperature and prevent fire risks, as well as safekeeping of livestock through gate sensors.

Chris Keone, MD, Division X at BT, said: “Growing numbers of businesses are beginning to realise the benefits of IoT applications, and our UK-wide NB-IoT network opens up a wide range of connectivity solutions for monitors, sensors, and other smart devices. Whether it’s building the smart cities of the future or reducing carbon emissions, our network will provide customers with the reliability and efficiency they need.”

The network will add to BT’s existing IoT portfolio, which includes eSIMs and IoT national roaming SIMs for UK businesses, offering greater connectivity to customers on the move or in remote locations.

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