Liberty Global has opened the Telenet Innovation Centre in Brussels this week.
In attendance were Balan Nair the chief technology & innovation Officer of Liberty Global, John Porter the CEO of Telenet and Alexander De Croo the deputy prime minister and minister for development cooperation, digital agenda, telecom and post for Belgium.
Balan Nair, Liberty Global Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, said: "The opening of the Telenet Innovation Center is an important milestone for Liberty Global. The cutting-edge infrastructure and Telenet’s fully owned mobile network provide the perfect conditions for us to test the products and services that can pave the way towards the GIGAWorld. I'm already excited about the opportunities and inspiration that await us.”
Liberty Global will use the new innovation centre to test its latest technologies in the areas of connectivity, entertainment and value added services. The centre itself is equipped with the latest 5G components and antennas to create an effective testing environment, while testing of into entertainment, value added services and customer experiences solutions will begin in 2018. In addition, it is also the second of Liberty Global’s European hubs for innovation joining the company’s Tech Campus near Amsterdam.
The centre will focus on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and mobile technologies, including the development of 5G networks. Telenet, in collaboration with additional partners, will use the facility to test the upgrading of BASE mobile networks and the deployment of 5G in Belgium.
John Porter, CEO of Telenet: "Permanent innovation is the lifeline for our company, especially in a world of rapidly changing technology developments. With the Telenet Innovation Center, we want to be ambitious and bring our own innovations to a higher level, but also help shape external innovation projects. I believe in the absolute strength of partnerships, so I am convinced that with our model of collaborative innovation and with the help of partners like ZTE, we can bring the best broadband and media technology to Belgium for thorough testing, experimentation and successful launch in our market."
On opening, the centre hosted a number of demonstrations from key partners. ZTE, which has been working with Telenet since 2015 showcased a new smart parking app based on NB-IoT, as well a preview of the centre’s core network 5G and IoT installation in the ZTE Demo Room. The research institute IMEC announced an infrastructure partnership with Telenet in the areas of IoT and smart cities. Under this deal Telenet will support the institute’s The City of Things program which aims to transform the city of Antwerp into a living lab where businesses, researchers and city officials can experiment with smart technologies. Lastly, Spencer, the mobile workplace assistant application, demonstrated its mobile-first solution centralizing information and enterprise tools into one single interface.
The opening follows on from the publication commissioned last month by Liberty Global from leading analysts Arthur D Little (ADL). In the report it predicted that a GIGAWorld enabled by widespread access to high quality, gigabit internet, could generate billions of Euros for the European economy, and trillions globally but only if the innovation cycle is given room to function by governments and regulators.