South Korea Launches First Commercial IoT Network

Dan Butler
Tue, 5 Jul 2016
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South Korea’s leading network operator, SK Telecom, has launched the country’s first nationwide, commercial Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) network.

The new low-power wireless network, LoRaWAN (long-range wide-area network), is designed to allow smart devices to transit small amounts of data at low speeds.

A similar IIoT network was launched in Amsterdam in 2015 but its range only spanned citywide. SK Telecom’s technology allows its new network to reach 99% of the country’s population.

“Our nationwide IoT network system will open up a new ecosystem for new businesses, services and infrastructure to thrive in,” explained Lee Hyung-hee, president of SK Telecom’s mobile network business.

Users of the network will have to subscribe to monthly price plans that range from 350 Korean won ($0.30, £0.20) to 2,000 won, depending on data usage. Also, the expansive IIoT network will implement cutting-edge tech that allows for the off-site monitoring of street lights as well as wearables to track lost pets and mobile phones.

SK Telecom stated that its price plans are “highly affordable” and only cost one-tenth of its current LTE-based IIoT services. “This is great news for start-ups and SMEs who might otherwise be deterred by the cost burden of entering the IIoT market,” explained Charles King, head of IIoT at Challenge Advisory.

Our nationwide IoT network system will open up a new ecosystem for new businesses, services and infrastructure to thrive in.

SK Telecom has committed to further investments of up to 100 billion won by the end of 2017. It expects this extra funding to develop its infrastructure and provide new sources of revenue.

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