Initially 1.5 million devices will be connected to the LoRa network and this number is expected to grow rapidly now that the network is available across the Netherlands
The Netherlands has become the first country in the world to have a nationwide LoRa network for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Supplied by global ICT services provider KPN, it has been rolled out over the past eight months beginning in Rotterdam. KPN reports that because of “substantial customer interest”, the roll-out of the network was speeded up at the beginning of the year.
The LoRa network makes it easier to develop smart city applications and to optimise processes and services. KPN has already contracted 1.5 million devices that will be connected to the LoRa network and this number is expected to grow rapidly now that the network is available across the country. Over the coming months, KPN will further optimise the LoRa network by condensing the network and implementing the much-requested localisation functionality.
The first Internet of Things applications are already connected to the network and various proofs of concept are being tested. At Schiphol Airport, LoRa is being tested in logistical processes such as baggage handling and for facility services. Meanwhile, an experiment is being carried out at Utrecht Central Station that allows LoRa to monitor rail switches, and depth sounders at the port of Rotterdam have been fitted with devices to connect them to the IoT network. KPN expects LoRa applications for consumers to become more widely available during the course of this year.
“Last year we identified an increasing demand for low-power network technology for Internet of Things applications. We are responding to this by choosing LoRa, so millions of devices can be connected to the internet in a cost-effective manner,” says Joost Farwerck, chief operations officer and member of the board of management of KPN. “In less than a year KPN has implemented a network that allows us to satisfy this market demand.”
KPN’s LoRa is a new network for IoT solutions and a supplement to the existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks. It reduces and in some cases eliminates barriers such as cost, consumption and energy so that numerous devices can be connected to the internet. KPN has equipped hundreds of existing mobile transmission towers across the Netherlands with a LoRa gateway and antenna, allowing millions of devices to be connected.