Proximus to build AI, IoT from ground up in new construction tie-up

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Proximus is teaming up with Belgian construction company BESIX Group to design and create smart buildings.

The Belgian operator will use artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to improve the services in existing buildings, as well as co-create new solutions and integrate them into new constructions.

The companies will collaborate and develop services for hospitality, improving working conditions, building efficiency and insights, and safety and security.

The first buildings offering smart solutions are expected to go live by the middle of next year.

A Proximus spokesperson said the operator would position itself within an ecosystem of start-ups and its own R&D centres to build the connected services.

Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus Group, said: "Combining new technologies like IoT and AI into new digital solutions, will allow owners to run their buildings more efficiently and to enhance their comfort level, as from their inception. This strategic partnership is an important step in our ambition for a better Digital Future."

Proximus has been an enthusiastic proponent of the Internet of Things and was one of the first operators to launch a LoRa-based network in 2015. The network's footprint is set to increase more than fivefold by the end of 2018.

In May it launched a NB-IoT network for the first time, connecting 1.3 million smart meters across Belgium.

Speaking at the Mobile Europe and European Communications' IoT in Telecoms event in April, Vincent Hebbelynck, Head of Technology Incubation & Corporate Venturing, Proximus, said an advantage of cellular IoT technology was its ability to scale up according to demand.