Cambridge-based technology business Neul has launched the world’s first city-wide ‘white space’ network. White space refers to unused and underused parts of the wireless spectrum, such as spare TV channels and unlicensed radio bands.
Neul has worked with Bglobal Metering to demonstrate smart electricity meter reading over a white space network, reading a smart meter from a distance of 1km. It follows the completion of the first phase of the Cambridge White Space Consortium’s network.
Glenn Collinson, co-founder and Board Member at Neul, said “In a world of Smart Phones and mobile broadband it is easy to imagine that wireless connectivity has now been solved. It hasn’t. Mobile broadband is too expensive for ‘things’ in the Smart City. Also mobile broadband means battery powered devices would need changing far too often. And all those sensors would load the cellular networks to such a level that there would be little network capacity left. Mobile networks are great for people but terrible for machines. At Neul we are today demonstrating that the Smart City can happen now with a new wireless standard specifically designed for embedding in electricity and gas meters, air quality sensors, recycling points, street lighting, parking spaces, traffic lights and ... well ... ‘things’ rather than people.”
Neul’s network includes five base stations around the city of Cambridge along with an additional base station in a rural community south of Cambridge. A cloud-hosted network centre manages the communications between the internet and the ‘things’, while support for multiple geo-location databases ensure that wireless microphones, TV transmission and reception is not disrupted.