Arqiva will install and run the network which will use ultra-narrowband wireless infrastructure supplied by Sigfox.
The network will be part of a global infrastructure. Sigfox networks are already deployed in France, the Netherlands and Spain, as well as in several cities in other countries, including Moscow and Munich.
“The UK has an active, fast-growing Internet of Things market, and our partnership with Arqiva is a significant part of a plan to establish a global cellular network dedicated to the IoT," said Rodolphe Baronnet-Frugès, vice-president network and business development, Sigfox.
According to some forecasts, there will be 50 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020. "For this to become a reality, both cost and energy use will have to come down,” said Baronnet-Frugès.
According to Wendy McMillan, managing director of Smart Metering and Machine-to-Machine solutions at Arqiva, the company uses satellite, Wi-Fi, and long-range radio networks to provide managed services.
"Our smart metering communications service, connecting 10 million homes using long-range radio technology, will be one of the UK’s largest machine-to-machine deployments,” said McMillan.
"Low-power consumption allows batteries and equipment to last longer, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of replacing devices. This massively expands the range of devices that can be connected, increasing the benefits to consumers and businesses alike,” added McMillan.
The network will be rolled out nationwide, starting with ten major UK cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.