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IoT’s big impact

Neal Forse, CEO and co-founder of WND UK, talks to Sam Fenwick about his company’s Sigfox network roll-out and how an IoT project has resulted in big savings for a housing association

Like any good manager, Neil Forse, the CEO and co-founder of Wireless Network Developments (UK) [WND UK], is well aware of the factors that limit the pace of his company’s and its industry’s expansion. The limiting and most challenging step when it comes to WND UK’s Sigfox network roll-out is going from “an agreement in principle to the signing off of the paperwork to get the hardware installed. Invariably, lawyers do take their time, it’s very frustrating.” He adds while it’s possible to build three Sigfox base stations per engineer per day, the legal paperwork per site can’t be signed off in the same timescale.

“When you’re building a network, everyone you’re collaborating with needs to be moving forward with the same sense of urgency, otherwise you’ll move as slowly as the slowest part of that collaboration,” he says.

While paperwork may be a pain, Forse and his colleagues’ efforts have resulted in some impressive gains. “We have at least half a dozen real-world deployments, but the one delivering the most positive impact is the deal with Genesis, a housing association with a portfolio of 37,000 properties.” Sigfox is being used by one of its customers, LeakSafe, to provide Genesis and its insurer with IoT-enabled water leak detection as a service, and this arrangement has cut Genesis’s insurance premiums by 18 per cent, resulting in a network roll-out with “negative cost”.

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