Dutch national telecoms operator KPN has helped The Netherlands to beat South Korea in the race to build a national Internet of Things (IoT) network.
The company switched on the wireless-based IoT network this week, and claimed that it covers the whole country, which is 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," said KPN 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 the IoT.
The network went live initially in Rotterdam and The Hague in November, and the rollout over the rest of the country was brought forward after "substantial customer interest", according to KPN.
"The easily accessible LoRa network makes it simple to develop smart applications and to optimise processes and services," the company said.
"KPN has already contracted 1.5 million devices that will be connected to the LoRa network. This number is expected to grow rapidly now that the network is available in the whole of The Netherlands.
"In the months ahead KPN will further optimise LoRa by condensing the network. The much requested localisation functionality will become available too."
KPN chief operating officer Joost Farwerck claimed that the network was rolled out in less than a year, and supplements existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks while cutting costs and power consumption for devices connecting to the network.
"KPN has equipped hundreds of existing mobile transmission towers across The Netherlands with a LoRa gateway and antenna, allowing millions of devices to be connected," he said.
The claimed 1.5 million connected 'things' include devices embedded in the baggage handling system at Schiphol Airport, depth sounders in the port of Rotterdam and rail switches at Utrecht Central Station.
Eleven 'normal' outer moons, and one described as 'oddball' found circling Jupiter
Scientific discovery has found a quadrillion tonnes of diamonds in the earth's mantle
Mobile payment app makes users' details public by default
2,400 signatures gathered against the development and production of lethal robots