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Telco turns Jersey into connected internet of things testbed

Telecoms operator JT will build a long-range wide area network to support IoT deployments across Channel island

Telecoms operator JT, formerly known as Jersey Telecom, has announced a major investment in the internet of things (IoT) with the construction of Jersey’s first long-range wide area network (LoRaWAN) to enable devices to connect to the internet without using 3G, 4G or wireless broadband networks.

The operator has teamed up with Digital Jersey – a States of Jersey government scheme to beef up the Channel island’s digital sector and support local startups – to develop a so-called smart island. This will enable businesses to use the network as a testbed for new products and services, and for islanders to experience the IoT for the first time.

“LoRa is a relatively new technology, but its potential in the IoT space is already considerable,” said JT Wholesale managing director Tom Noel.

“By building this network and taking an open, collaborative approach with Digital Jersey and others, we truly explore the potential of a LoRa network, and ultimately help our customers to engage with this exciting new world of IoT technologies.”

LoRaWANs – a type of low-power WAN (LPWAN) – are designed to connect cheap, battery-powered sensors across long distances in environments that are generally too challenging or costly to connect to traditional broadband services.

Ultimately, this will mean IoT services can be extended across wide areas, collecting more data and enabling more services, such as journey planning, or environment and weather monitoring, which are both being considered for the Jersey project.

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Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, said: “By working closely with JT, as well as the other members of our Test Bed group including government and the utility companies, we can investigate the great potential of the IoT to both improve life in Jersey and grow our digital economy.

“As a small jurisdiction, where we can get all the key players around the table working together, we should be able to take a lead and create a smart island to attract technology developers, encourage new startups and, ultimately, create new businesses and jobs. JT’s strengths in this area are a real asset for Jersey and their support is invaluable.”

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