The UK will have a dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) network to support public-sector services by 2030, according to ARM's emerging technologies director.
Speaking at TechUK's Public Services 2030 Conference, attended by V3, ARM's Gary Atkinson said two communications networks will be in place across the UK within 15 years.
"By 2030, we will actually see two separate networks evolve. High-speed data networks will continue to improve in coverage and data bandwidth. We will get a parallel network of what we call a low-power wide area network," he said.
"The IoT doesn't require the kind of bandwidth you or your mobile phone requires as we deploy billions of sensors out there in the real world giving us data about the structural integrity of bridges, whether [areas] are getting localised flooding, and the air quality of a city."
Atkinson explained that the IoT network will either run on top of mobile networks or within a mesh network, which could use lampposts as wireless beacons in cities.
"We will be able to monitor the world around us, then you can revolutionise things like healthcare," he said.
According to Atkinson, by 2030 wearable fitness devices will have evolved into medical wearables connect to the IoT network. Wearables can then provide data for monitoring by hospitals and wider medical services to improve the care of people remotely.
"If we look at 2030 you will find vital statistics being measured in real-time, so you can get an early warning of any issues you may have," he said.
"It's like going to the doctors every day and having blood work done, only without the inconvenience," he added, noting such an approach will be needed as healthcare services in their current form lack the ability to scale with the population's future needs.
He also said 2030 will see wider use of biometrics in the public sector to ease the process of identification and authentication of people using public services.
Back in the present day major technology companies are continuing to develop IoT systems, networks and hardware platforms, including ARM and IBM, who have teamed up to develop IoT starter kits backed by cloud services.
HP has also thrown its hat into the arena, with its IoT platform for communications service providers to manage devices on their networks.
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