Netherland launches IoT nationwide, becomes first in the world

Internet of Things is not just a concept anymore but it’s become a reality. It not a science fiction but the next revolution in the digital world. Internet of Things has gained utmost importance in the recent times and countries world-wide including India are putting in their efforts to implement this phenomenon in their respective countries. However, the race has been won by Netherlands. Yes, Netherlands is the very first country in the entire world to implement Internet of Things network nationwide.

This accomplishment was made possible by Dutch telecommunications group KPN, a specialist in landline services and mobile networks, who have laid down a nationwide long range (LoRa) network for the so-called Internet of Things.

This implementation of IoT has allowed Netherlands to connect everyday objects to networks thereby enabling transfer of data between devices. The Internet of Things is surely to transform the everyday lives of the people of Netherlands and also the way businesses operate.

Initially the LoRa network was rolled out only at two places Rotterdam and Hague in November 2015. Post this KPN received substantial customer interest in this network and then they scaled it up nationwide. For this, the technicians at KPN fitted hundreds of mobile transmission towers which already existed with LoRa (Long Range) gateways and antennas. This created a first of its kind public network which was solely for IoT devices. The LoRa network is complementary to KPN’s networks for the 2G, 3G and 4G phones.

LoRa is an open standard for Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs). These networks are very useful as they allow to connect devices with low power, for instance, sensors over a wide area. And the cost is also quite less, they are very cost effective. You might think why this can’t be achieved with a traditional cellular network. Traditional networks are not preferable as they drain the batteries of the devices and also are more expensive then LoRa. Hence for implementing nationwide IoT network, it was important to roll out LoRa network to connect devices.

KPN has already contracts for 1.5 million devices to utilize the LoRa network. Meanwhile more test are being carried out to expand the reach of IoT. Schiphol airport in Amsterdam which is one of the busiest air hubs of Europe is being tested for baggage handling. Another experiment that is being carried out is at the Utrecht rail station, where LoRa is being used to monitor rail switches. Depth Sounders are being installed with devices which can connect to the IoT network at Rotterdam port as part of yet another experiment.

Netherlands has set an example for other countries planning to implement IoT and initiated the next revolution which is sure to spread like fire. We expect many more countries to ride this wave and change the way of everyday living of their people.

Meanwhile in the Utrecht rail station an experiment is under way to allow LoRa to monitor rail switches.

At the port of Rotterdam depth sounders have been fitted with devices to connect them to the Internet of Things network.

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