Sensor makers to benefit from 4G services demand

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SPECIALISTS in sensor and imaging systems are set for a boost as the widening roll-out of super-fast 4G mobile networks drives demand for remote monitoring technology.

Martyn Wallace, business development manager at O2, said networks capable of broadcasting data-hungry video will unlock a world of new innovative applications.

Examples include remote monitoring of patients to cut down costs in healthcare, or making checks from afar for faults in water or electricity distribution networks.

“It is not all about speed – it is also a seamless experience,” Wallace said. “It is about creating new experiences and new apps.”

Steve Beaumont, vice-principal for research and ­enterprise at Glasgow University, has estimated there are about 130 sensor and imaging companies in Scotland contributing roughly £2.3 billion annually to the economy.

Wallace said those figures should surge as deployment of 4G means developers will no longer be constrained by data capacity limits.

4G has been available in the UK since October, when EE launched its super-fast mobile internet technology.

Rivals O2, Three and Vodafone are due to introduce their networks later this year.

Vodafone confirmed last week that its launch would be delayed until September, around the time Apple is expected to release a compatible version of its iPhone 5.

Wallace said O2 would launch its service in “late summer”, while Three has indicated that it is likely to wait until the end of the year.

In the run-up to launch, O2 is gearing up for a major marketing drive highlighting the benefits of 4G. As part of that, Wallace will speak on Thursday at the “Open Doors” event at the Alba Innovation Centre, where he will outline 4G’s potential for enhancing services.