LIVE FROM LPWA WORLD 2017, LONDON: BT innovation consultant Paul Putland stopped short of committing to one low power wide area (LPWA) technology for the operator’s future IoT plans, but pledged to have a “suitable offering in place” once the market matures.

Putland told delegates BT’s £12.5 billion acquisition of UK operator EE – completed in January 2016 – had “affected our thinking” with regards to its LPWA approach, adding it was currently “exploring all options”.

The consultant detailed progress on utilising a wide range of IoT connectivity in UK city Milton Keynes as part of a three year project to implement smart city systems.

Commenced in 2014 (before the acquisition of mobile operator EE), the Milton Keynes project is now coming to an end. During the programme, BT used TV white space technology and (non cellular) LoRA technology to implement its solutions.

Despite BT’s acquistion of EE, Putland indicated the company would not completely abandon LoRa in the future.

“We will look to take the best bits of licensed and unlicensed,” he added.

He also discussed BT’s involvement in the Things Connected project, which invites SMEs and developers to develop IoT solutions utilising LoRaWAN powered base stations.

The programme is up and running in London, but the stated aim of project leader Digital Catapult Centre is to deploy the system throughout the UK.