Written by Peter Harrison

Sony have chosen Jersey to be the testbed for their new ‘Low-Power, Wide-Area Network’ (LPWA) network, praising the island's, "...super-fast fibre network, its varied terrain and the population’s digital connectivity."

The tech giant worked with JT to develop the LPWA network, which allows devices to connect to the internet without using 3G/4G and Wi-Fi, and will be the Island's second of its kind.

The announcement was made during Digital Jersey's Annual Review during which Tony Moretta reaffirmed Jersey's desire to pitch itself as a ‘sandbox’ for global companies wanting to test their products and services.

JT has been investing in new networks, in collaboration with Digital Jersey, to expand its ‘Internet of Things’ (‘IoT’) offering – which lets everyday devices collect and share data automatically.

Tom Noel, Managing Director of JT International, said: “Jersey is the perfect location to run new networks and companies interested in IoT technology can use Jersey as a testbed for their own products and services. The LPWA technology is relatively new but its potential to interact with IoT technology is vast and will eventually change the way we live, work and do business. Sony’s LPWA technology performed better than expected so JT is primed to provide its customers with the best access to IoT technologies and full connectivity.

“Thanks to a collaboration with Digital Jersey, Jersey will also soon be home to a dedicated IoT Lab, based at one of JT’s exchanges, which will offer companies the opportunity to collaborate on innovative product development, share resources and turn ideas into commercial ventures. JT continues to invest internationally bringing technology and partnerships back to the Channel Islands to benefit the local smart economy”

Sony’s LPWA technology is designed for devices that are required to send relatively small amounts of data over long periods of time using low levels of power. Potential uses include collecting data from sensors monitoring water metering, heat regulation or congestion, which could help Jersey businesses conduct operations more efficiently and cost effectively while gaining greater insight into trends and behaviour. Sensors recording temperature, air quality and humidity could also give asthma sufferers greater knowledge of their environment, allowing them to better prepare for the day in order and manage their symptoms.

Steve Beck, General Manager of Telecoms R&D at Sony Europe Limited, said: “JT’s support during the trial was excellent and we really appreciated their support. While it wasn’t possible to drive every road in the time available, we covered a large number of routes and were pleased to confirm such wide coverage using just two receivers.”