The Netherlands, a top technology hub, has now officially become a “smart country,” after Dutch telecom company KPN announced last month the integration of a wireless IoT network nationwide.
Although the Netherlands is “the first country in the world to have a nationwide LoRa network for Internet of Things (IoT) application,” similar initiatives have been taking place in South Korea, Germany, France and elsewhere.
“Last year we identified an increasing demand for low-power network technology for Internet of Things applications,” says Joost Farwerck, Chief Operations Officer and member of the Board of Management of KPN. “We are responding to this by choosing LoRa, so millions of devices can be connected to the internet in a cost-effective manner. In less than a year KPN has implemented a network that allows us to satisfy this market demand.”
Still young, an IoT infrastructure ideally connects everyday devices like thermostats, fridges, light bulbs and coffee machines to the internet through sensors to improve and automate daily activity. If you wake up at 6 am every day, your phone will know, and could program the coffee machine to have your coffee ready by that time.
For the smart city, KPN is already testing the ground with baggage handling at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, rail switches monitoring at Utrecht station and IoT depth sounders at the port of Rotterdam.
With other countries joining the trend, Europe is turning into a land of opportunities for governmental institutions and corporations to use connected devices to improve traffic, the medical industry, energy saving and security.
With enterprises arguing IoT is essential for future growth, it does leave room for abuse. Since the focus has been more on developing applications and less on security strategies, it wouldn’t be much of an effort for a hacker to break into an IoT infrastructure.