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South Korea progresses IoT network for its expressways

The Korean Expressway Corporation is building the IoT network with Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol as the first stage of a four-year deployment plan.

The IoT network currently covers 306km of expressway
The IoT network currently covers 306km of expressway

The Korean Expressway Corporation (KEC), a government affiliated company building and managing expressways in South Korea, has built a network based on Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol for its expressways as the first stage in a four-year Internet of Things (IoT) deployment plan in the country.


The network already provides functionality in areas such as smart parking and trash bin fill monitoring at rest areas and real-time condition tracking for shock-absorbing barriers and guardrails.


High-quality IoT nework


In 2019, KEC deployed 78 LoRa-based gateways over 306km of expressway. Systems integrator Woojoo Telecom and SK Telesys, a LoRa-based gateway manufacturer and network server provider were selected as operators for the project, conducting communication tests on roads and in tunnels to establish the high-quality IoT network.


“Semtech’s LoRa devices and LoRaWAN networks represent the ideal infrastructure on which to build Korea’s next-generation IoT solutions,” said Hyo-Hoon, Kim, manager at SK Telesys. “We want to continue to uphold Korea’s leading technology culture and provide citizens the basic right to enjoy Internet infrastructure freely.


“One of our main goals is providing citizens and local businesses with the opportunity to innovate and create their own IoT applications. With LoRa, developers can quickly and effectively create solutions to enable a smarter, more efficient home for us all.”


In the coming years, KEC plans to expand the LoRa-based network’s applications to include landslip detectors, road-freezing sensors, electronic displays, fire extinguishers in tunnels, and expressway lights.

“LoRa devices and LoRaWAN networks cover hundreds of uses cases essential to city and often countrywide infrastructure”

By continuing to migrate applications from legacy 3G/LTE connectivity to LoRaWAN, KEC expects to reduce operating cost by up to $2m per year.


“LoRa devices and LoRaWAN networks cover hundreds of uses cases essential to city and often countrywide infrastructure,” said Marc Pegulu, vice president of IoT for Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group.


“The increasing implementation of large-scale, flexible applications reflects the rising demand for massive IoT worldwide. These deployments increase efficiency and cost savings for those government entities providing public infrastructure such as nationwide expressways, and LoRa devices represent an ideal technology and connectivity backbone.”


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