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KPN Technology Labs

Making innovation tangible
and applicable

New services that bring enjoyment and convenience. With this goal in mind, KPN Technology Labs are exploring the boundaries of technology. And, where necessary, we are pushing these boundaries.

Innovation does not just happen; genuine innovation requires hard work, discipline and structure. It is more than just generating ideas. You can’t make a difference with just a good idea. But you can with a tangible, end-user tested application.

We know all about this at KPN Technology Labs. Recently announced or introduced technology was already being developed years ago in KPN Technology Labs. Think of, for example, Voice over LTE (calling via fast mobile internet), LoRa (a super-efficient network that connects devices to the Internet of Things) ,Voice over WiFi (calling via WiFi), and Blockchain applications (the technology behind Bitcoin).

Field Labs

KPN Technology Labs is a collection of multidisciplinary telecommunications labs. Here, KPN experts work together with customers, developers and suppliers. Side by side, we’re transforming ideas into concrete products or services. We test these with the public in our Field Labs (test centers).

We prefer to set the Field Labs up at our partners’ sites. A good example is the Amsterdam Innovation Arena, which we’ve established in collaboration with, among others, Johan Cruijff ArenA and TNO. At this testing ground for innovation, we develop and test smart technological inventions for multiple purposes and demographics.

KPN Technology Labs was the first in Europe to test LTE-M, the new network for the Internet of Things (IoT). LTE-M completes the KPN IoT portfolio, which further consists of LoRa and Machine- to-Machine via 4G. Since March 2018, KPN is also offering national coverage to LTE-M.

Connected society with 5G

The new standard for mobile internet is 5G. Firstly, it is faster than 4G. In addition, it has three important features:

  1. Enhanced Mobile Broadband: more capacity and so higher speeds for customers.
  2. Massive Machine Type Communication: many more devices connected to the network at the same time (up to a million per km2).
  3. Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communication: extremely high reliability and little delay that makes autonomy possible (such as autonomous driving, but also remote surgery).

Together, these features allow for unique applications that we are testing in the 5G Field Labs. The Netherlands is a trailblazer in Europe when it comes to the quality, reliability and speed of mobile networks. Together with customers and technology partners, we have distributed five different (pre-) labs throughout the Netherlands, each focusing on a different kind of application. From autonomous driving to precision farming and from virtual reality in industry to smart antennas in urban areas.

Currently, the following labs are active:

  1. Groningen: Rural Field Lab, focus on Transport & Logistics, Health care and Agriculture;
  2. Drenthe: Rural Field Lab, focus on Fixed Wireless access;
  3. Rotterdam: Industry Field Lab, focus on industry 4.0 and Transport & Logistics;
  4. Amsterdam: Urban Field Lab, focus on Smart City and Smart Living and Events;
  5. Helmond: Automotive Field Lab.

Verbonden samenleving met 5G

De nieuwe standaard voor mobiel internet is 5G. Het is in de eerste plaats sneller dan 4G. Daarnaast heeft het drie belangrijke eigenschappen:

  1. Enhanced Mobile Broadband: meer capaciteit en dus hogere snelheid voor de klanten.
  2. Massive Machine Type Communication: veel meer apparaten tegelijkertijd verbonden met het netwerk (tot een miljoen per km2).
  3. Ultra Reliable en Low Latency Communication: extreem hoge betrouwbaarheid en weinig vertraging die autonomie mogelijk maakt (zoals autonoom rijden en varen, maar ook chirurgie op afstand).

Deze eigenschappen samen maken unieke nieuwe toepassingen mogelijk die we aan het uitproberen zijn in de 5G Field Labs. Nederland is koploper in Europa als het gaat om de kwaliteit, betrouwbaarheid en snelheid van de mobiele netwerken. Samen met klanten en technologiepartners hebben we vijf verschillende (pré) labs verspreid door Nederland, stuk voor stuk gericht op ander soort toepassingen. Van autonoom rijden tot precisielandbouw en van virtual reality in de industrie tot slimme antennes in stedelijk gebied.

Op dit moment zijn deze labs actief:

  • Groningen: Rural Field Lab, focus op Transport & Logistiek, Zorg en Agricultuur;
  • Drenthe: Rural Field Lab, focus op Fixed Wireless access;
  • Rotterdam: Industry Field Lab, focus op industry 4.0 en Transport & Logistiek;
  • Amsterdam: Urban Field Lab, focus op Smart City en Smart Living en Events;
  • Helmond: Automotive Field Lab.
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Case study:
Tiled Streaming

One of the technological concepts that we’re developing at the Amsterdam Innovation Arena is an application by Tiled Streaming. This technology makes it possible to view real-time, high resolution (UHD or even up to 4K) images captures on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Usually, zooming in on video images happens locally on a mobile device. Tiled Streaming offers the option to send only the requested zoomed-in image to a device in real time, significantly reducing the required bandwidth.

Where will this innovation lead?

Tiled Streaming means that, in future, everyone gets to play at being a cameraman. In real-time, on your own mobile device. In combination with tracking – that allows you to follow a runner, singer or footballer – in tomorrow’s world you can zoom in on the images you want to see during a concert or sporting event. On your own phone, in high resolution. This is tangible innovation.

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Facts about KPN Technology Labs

Established in: 2015

Director: Perry Jackson

Objective: KPN Technology Labs makes tangible and applicable innovations by merging technical experiments with existing network infrastructures and by developing new technologies.

Examples of innovations: Voice over LTE, LoRa, Voice over WiFi, 5G-internet (test phase).

Contact: Do you want to know more or to get in touch with KPN Technology Labs? Send an email.

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