Netherlands 'Internet of Things' rollout begins
Aug. 15, 2016
by Mark Ollig

The largest provider of information technology and telecommunications services in the Netherlands recently made a big announcement.

Royal Dutch Telecom, known as KPN, has finished installation of their LoRa (Low-data Rate) wireless network.

The LoRa network, now accessible throughout the Netherlands, is the transport for connecting electronic devices or “things” to the internet.

These particular “things” are known as the Internet of Things, or IoT.

IoT consist of smart electronic components, physically connected to normally non-networked “stand-alone” electronic or mechanical devices.

The Netherlands IoT devices are wirelessly connected to the LoRa network, which has connections to the internet.

The IoT devices are gathering data, and communicate with the LoRa network and the software applications collecting their information.

This data can be used by people, analytical software programs, or other devices monitoring the performance of a specific electronic or mechanical device.

LoRa can be defined as a wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) developed for processing low-data rate communications over long distances.

It is also known as LoRaWAN.

A LoRa network consists of IoT endpoints (devices) and the network gateway nodes receiving IoT information.

This information is sent to the network servers managing the packets of data coming into the system.

The network is functioning as the data-packet transport management ‘highway’ system, if you will.

A networked computing system is controlling the endpoints, and is collecting their data.

IoT devices/sensors monitor, acquire, and transmit the data of the device they are attached to.

This data is sent to the LoRa network, where it connects with the internet.

The IoT devices’ data is processed using various analytical and logistical software programs.

IoT provides people with detailed information and control over every device within their home, business, or other venue that has an IoT smart connection.

For example, today you can purchase IoT-equipped flower and plant pots with sensors monitoring the condition of the soil, and the plant growing in it.

This IoT pot automatically waters and provides nutrients to the plant, per individual (human) settings.

Yes, we can now program a flower pot.

A person can remotely access the IoT flower pot over the internet, and obtain online reports on the plant’s growing condition, soil moisture content, room and soil temperatures, remaining water supply and nutrient resources, and other details about flower and plants one would like to know.

In a press release from their website, KPN announced: “The KPN LoRa network is available throughout the Netherlands. This makes the Netherlands the first country in the world to have a nationwide LoRa network for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.”

I sensed their excitement, as KPN stated there has been “substantial customer interest.”

This must be true, as I learned KPN contracted 1.5 million devices to be connected to their LoRa network as IoT.

In fact, KPN seems optimistic, saying this number will “grow rapidly now that the network is available in the whole of the Netherlands.”

Venue examples of IoT using the Lora network include the Schiphol Airport, where LoRa is transporting logistical processes, such as baggage handling and airport facility services.

Also, the Utrecht Central rail station is using LoRa to monitor its rail switches.

Depth sounders at the port of Rotterdam have been recently equipped with IoT smart devices, and are connected to the Internet via the LoRa network.

One application, called Smart Public Space Management, is operating on the LoRa network for the benefit of citizens living in the Netherlands.

Advantages of this application include: enhanced street signage, improved waste management in public spaces, and intelligent street lighting.

“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,” said Joost Farwerck, chief operations officer and member of the Board of Management of KPN.

The Netherlands’s KPN Dutch website is located at: https://www.kpn.com.

Coders: it’s time to get busy writing programs for creative IoT apps, and IoT analytical and logistical software packages.

Follow me on Twitter via my @bitsandbytes user name.

There, you will discover me pontificating about the future of IoT, and other topics.

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