Dutch telco KPN deploys countrywide LoRa network

Dutch telco KPN deploys countrywide LoRa network

Dutch telecommunications giant KPN is bringing its low-power, long-range wide area network (LoRa) to the Netherlands. 

The firm, which is a member of the LoRa Alliance, claims that Netherlands has become the first country in the world to have a national LoRa network, although South Korea might well debate that claim given its own activities in this area. Interestingly, KPN isn’t also ruling out experimenting with NB-IoT.

The network will complement the existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks in the country, and relies on mobile transmission towers which are now equipped with a LoRa antenna and gateway. There are hundreds of these mobile transmission towers dotted around the country.

The Dutch LoRa network apparently took eight months to roll out, with its first section going live last November in The Hague and Rotterdam. The network will be condensed over the next few months. KPN says that the network eliminates “significant barriers” to IoT adoption, such as cost, consumption and energy.

“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,” Joost Farwerck, KPN’s chief operations officer, said.

“In less than a year, KPN has implemented a network that allows us to satisfy this market demand.”

Related: Is LoRaWAN the game-changer for IoT?

1.5 million devices connected to LoRa network

The network apparently simplifies connecting and optimising smart devices, with KPN saying that 1.5 million devices have already been contracted to be connected to its LoRa network.

IoT trials are also ongoing for such applications as baggage handling at Schiphol Airport, rail switch monitoring at Utrecht Central station, and depth sounding at the port of Rotterdam.

South Korean telco SK Telecom recently claimed it was rolling out the world’s first nationwide Internet of Things (IoT) network.

Related: Swiss Post tests IoT network in bid to improve logistics