Luxembourg: Europe’s tech haven
While the name the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg might bring to mind its once impenetrable fortress, medieval castles, or its stately palace, the country has emerged as one of the most high-tech in Europe. This means unprecedented connectivity and data security that continually grows more robust. The country isn’t stopping there; it has ambitious plans to lead the way with 5G adoption and turn itself into Europe’s most-trusted data centre.
A connected population
Luxembourg has the highest rate of mobile phone ownership on the continent, according to a recent study by Deloitte, which makes sense given the high quality of connectivity users enjoy. The country has one of the fastest mobile data speeds in Europe, and the picturesque capital Luxembourg City, with a UNESCO-recognised old town that looks straight out of a fairy tale, boasts a powerful free Wi-Fi network with antennas on nearly every block.
It’s not just the mobile networks which are impressive. A 2018 test from the internet comparison site Cable showed that, on average, Luxembourg has the seventh-fastest internet in the entire world and the second-fastest in Europe. Determined to stay ahead of the game, the government is pushing to make the country among the first in Europe to be totally covered by 5G, a vital component of exciting technologies like driverless vehicles and the internet of things.
Meluxina and beyond
2021 marks an important year in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It’s when a computer of extraordinary power will become operational. The computer, named Meluxina in a nod to the local legendary figure Melusina, will have a calculating power of 10 petaflops, which means a staggering ten quadrillion operations per second. The computer will be used by researchers, private businesses, and eHealth providers, among others.
Meluxina will be one of several EuroHPC supercomputers dotting the continent, and the fact that Luxembourg has been chosen as the seat of the network’s managing body shows how far the country has come. In fact, transforming itself into the most-trusted data hub in Europe is one of the government’s priorities. This is being achieved with substantial investment in data infrastructure, support for businesses, as well as the creation of the right legal and financial environment. The effort is paying off. The country is home to 23 data centres, nearly half of them with Tier IV certification, which is the highest concentration of such centres in Europe.
Power, capacity, and speed are worth little if you cannot guarantee data security. Fortunately, this is another area in which Luxembourg excels. As an important financial hub and the world’s second largest investment fund centre, data security has long been a priority. The Global Cybersecurity Index ranks Luxembourg as 11th in the world, while the cybersecurity firm Artmotion ranks Luxembourg as number two in Europe in terms of security. The country’s protective measures will only strengthen as it continually improves the security ecosystem. Again, the efforts are paying off. In 2018, Estonia opened the world’s first digital embassy in Luxembourg to store sensitive government data. On top of that, Google and Luxembourg are in talks to open a $1.2 billion data centre in the middle of the country.
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