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South Korea deploys nationwide IoT network

To promote the growth of the IoT market, SK Telecom intends to offer attractive price plans and develop innovative IoT services

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The network covers 99 per cent of South Korea's population
The network covers 99 per cent of South Korea's population

SK Telecom has completed a nationwide roll-out of a low power wide area network (LPWAN) based on LoRa technology across South Korea.

 

The mobile company finished its deployment, which covers 99 per cent of the population, six months ahead of the initial schedule. At the same time, it announced new price plans for LoRa-based IoT services as well as plans to vitalise the IoT ecosystem. The latest move follows completion of a nationwide LTE-M rollout earlier this year.

 

By securing both nationwide LTE-M and LoRaWAN, which are two main pillars of the IoT network, SK Telecom said that it is fully prepared to create valuable business opportunities in the IoT era.

 

To promote the growth of the IoT market, SK Telecom intends to offer attractive price plans and develop innovative IoT services, while offering ‘strong support’ for SMEs. To this end, the company will invest a total of KRW 100bn by the end of 2017. The company anticipates these efforts will to lead to rapid expansion of the IoT industry by connecting over 4 million things to its IoT-dedicated networks by the end of 2017.

 

SK Telecom claims its LoRa offering will cost one-tenth of its LTE-based IoT services to make it more attractive to start-ups and SMEs in addition to supporting “active development and provision of diverse IoT services”. The company is also offering a range of discount benefits for enterprise customers depending on contract periods and the number of lines they use.

 

According to Lee Hyung-hee, president of mobile network business at SK Telecom, the LoRaWan deployment marks the first important step towards realizing connectivity between infinite number of things, “going beyond the traditional role of telecommunications centered on connectivity between people,” he said.

 

“Going forward, SK Telecom will develop and offer a wide variety of IoT services designed to offer new value for customers, while working closely with partners including SMEs and startups to vitalize the IoT ecosystem.”

 

The company plans to introduce a total of 20 LoRa-based IoT services by the end of 2016, including a manhole monitoring service in September and a real-time shared parking service in October.

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