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IoT network being launched on New Silk Road as part of Belt and Road initiative

Image credit: Actility

A new Internet-of-Things (IoT) network is being launched on the ‘New Silk Road’ through an agreement between Xi’an Beilin District Science and Technology Bureau, Shaanxi Radio and Television Network Group and ThingPark China.

The initiative will form part of President Xi’s $100 billion Belt and Road programme. First announced in 2103, the programmes aims to create a modern day version of the ancient Silk Road, driving commerce, connectivity and cooperation between nations. It aims to increase trade and stimulate growth across Asia and beyond by building land and sea commerce infrastructure connecting China to countries around the world.

At the opening of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, President Xi Jingping had said, “We should pursue innovation-driven development and intensify cooperation in frontier areas such as digital economy, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computing, and advance the development of big data, cloud computing and smart cities so as to turn them into a digital silk road of the 21st century. It is not just about physical connectivity but also digital connectivity. IoT connectivity will be an integral part of the initiative.

In the first stage a test network will be launched covering 23 square kilometers in the Beilin District of Xi'an, the capital of Shanxi province. Xi’an is the historic starting point of the Silk Road.

The network will initially be used for environmental monitoring. The low-power IoT system will cover the whole Beilin district. The test network will be tailored to the Beilin District’s business needs, and will include an environmental monitoring data platform. It will enable the collection, upload and analysis of environmental data within the administrative area, dramatically increasing work efficiency and improving scientific decision-making. This industrial innovation platform with IoT at its core is expected to encourage investment in the region and provide a compelling case for high tech enterprises to open-up in the city.

ThingPark Wireless is LoRaWAN-based platform from Actility, which is a founding member of the open, non-profit industry group, the LoRa Alliance. LoRaWAN is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification intended for wireless battery operated Things in a regional, national or global network. LoRaWAN meets key requirements for an effective Internet of Things network, such as long range communications, low power consumption and secure bi-directional data transmission.

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