In-brief: A national IoT network is a long way off in the U.S. (if it ever happens). But plans are moving ahead elsewhere, with The Netherlands beating out South Korea to become the first country to roll out a national network for connected stuff.
While still a ways off in the U.S., national IoT networks are moving ahead elsewhere, with The Netherlands beating out South Korea to become the first country to roll out a national network for connected stuff.
The Netherlands looks to have beaten South Korea in the race to build a national Internet of Things (IoT) network with the news that Dutch telecoms company KPN has switched on its IoT network this week.
KPN’s network reportedly covers the whole country – a smaller land mass to cover than South Korea’s – and will be used to connect tens of millions of embedded devices.”As from today the KPN LoRa network is available throughout the Netherlands,” claimed the company in an announcement.
LoRa is a standard for long-range radio, as specified by the LoRa Alliance, set up to promote wide area networks for IoT.The network had initially gone live in Rotterdam and The Hague in November 2015, with the rollout over the rest of the Netherlands brought forward due to “substantial customer interest”, according to KPN.
KPN equipped hundreds of existing mobile transmission towers across the Netherlands with a LoRa gateway and antenna, allowing millions of devices to be connected. The country already has Internet of Things applications up and running on the network. As an example, it cites Schiphol Airport using the LoRa connectivity to test logistical processes such as baggage handling and for facility services. An experiment at Utrecht Central station 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 said.
KPN said that its LoRa is meant as a supplement to existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks. “The network eliminates significant barriers (cost, consumption and energy) so that numerous devices can be connected to the internet,” the company said. The company expects LoRa applications for consumers to become more widely available within the year.