Liberty Global opens new IoT, 5G innovation centre in Brussels

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Liberty Global has opened its second European innovation centre as it looks to explore the Internet of Things and potential 5G technologies.

The Telenet Innovation Centre in Brussels will host a range of partners that will help the Belgian operator test new technologies and upgrade its BASE mobile network. 

The centre will house 5G components and antennas and will ultimately expand to explore new entertainment and value added services, as well as customer experience solutions and technologies from next year.

The opening ceremony hosted demonstrations in partnership with ZTE which included a NB-IoT-based smart parking app, as well as the vendor's own 5G core network and IoT solutions.

Telenet said the opening of the centre would help support Antwerp's "City of Things" project, where businesses, citizens, public sector agencies and researchers can experience smart technologies.

The operator commissioned a report last month from analysts Arthur D Little that predicted access to gigabit internet, a so-called "GIGAWorld", through 5G services could generate €250 billion per year for the European economy by 2025 and trillions worldwide.

Liberty Global already operators a Tech Campus in Amsterdam, which is a forum to explore new kinds of technology.

[Read more: Liberty Global launches Wi-Fi friendly app]

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.”

John Porter, CEO of Telenet, added: "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."