Antwerp’s Internet of Things project takes big step forward


Digital researchers are currently installing network technology to connect people and places in Antwerp in a massive experiment on the use of communication technology

The Internet of Things

The City of Antwerp is currently installing LoRa network technology, a huge step in its City of Things project. The project is set to become a frontrunner in the global Internet of Things system, in which objects interact with other objects through both wired and wireless connections.

City of Things is a large-scale test environment in which Antwerpenaars will be able to communicate and interact with intelligent devices and sensors. This kind of communication requires the presence of a network adjusted to the limitations of sensors such as the lifespan of batteries.

LoRa, short for Long Range Low Power, takes into account these limitations. It is currently being installed across Antwerp’s city centre by experts connected to Flanders’ digital research centre iMinds, Antwerp University and ICT specialist Digipolis.

“In the long term, thousands of devices and sensors will be connected through the internet,” said professor Steven Latré of iMinds in a statement. “This will form a unique laboratory to test, evaluate and optimise the use of different communication technologies in a real Internet of Things environment.”

By connecting certain city sensors with the LoRa network, researchers will be able to collect intelligent information on what happens in the city. It can, for example, be used to examine the relationship between traffic and air quality. “The information will help to improve life in Antwerp,” said the city’s mayor, Bart De Wever.