SK Telecom partners with Samsung to launch world-first nationwide IoT network

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Easyturn)

SK Telecom has partnered with Samsung to launch a groundbreaking world-first LoRaWAN network for the Internet of Things which covers the entire nation. 

This isn't the first time SK Telecom has partnered with Samsung, in fact we've covered several times when the giants have worked together on innovative new solutions – the most notable of which being their joint demonstration of 7.5Gbps "5G" last year. 

“SK Telecom is proud to announce the nationwide deployment of LoRaWAN as it 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,” said Lee Hyung-hee, President of Mobile Network Business at SK Telecom. “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.” 

LoRaWAN networks, as 'long-range wide-area' networks, are designed to be low-powered but cover a much bigger distance than other networks. This attribute makes LoRaWAN networks perfect for the IoT which mostly consists of many battery-operated devices which require a stable but rarely fast connection to operate. 

The announcement marks the first nationwide IoT network deployment but similar LoRaWAN network technology was used to launch a citywide IoT network in Amsterdam last August. 

Pricing of SK Telecom's IoT network:

PricePlan 

Data Allowance* 

(Frequency of communication) 

Monthly Flat Rate 

(VAT Excluded) 

Examples of Services 

Note 

BandIoT35 

100KB 

KRW 350 

Metering and monitoring services (e.g. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), environmental monitoring, water leakage monitoring, etc.) 

- Discount benefits for long-term contracts: Ranging from a 5% discount for two-year contracts to a 20% discount for 5 year-contracts 

- Multi-line discount: Ranging from a 2% discount for those using 500 lines to a 10% discount to those who use 10,000 lines 

BandIoT50 

500KB 

KRW 500 

 

 

BandIoT70 

3MB 

KRW 700 

Tracking services (e.g. locating tracking 

For people/things, asset management, etc.) 

 

BandIoT100 

10MB 

KRW 1,000 

 

 

Band IoT150 

50MB 

KRW 1,500 

Control service 

(e.g. safety management, lighting control, shared parking, etc.) 

 

BandIoT200 

100MB 

KRW 2,000 

 

 

*Data usage exceeding the data allotment provided will be charged at KRW 0.005 per 0.5KB. 

The deployment was completed six months earlier than first announced, with a coverage of 99% of the population. Post-launch, SK Telecom is now focused on delivering IoT services in the areas of metering, tracking and monitoring. 

For metering, the company is currently focused on Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) which enables the utilities companies to not only accurately measure/monitor usage but also control the metering devices. SK Telecom has been conducting a pilot project on AMI with SK E&S since November 2015 and plans to expand the service coverage to more regions of the country in July 2016. 

For tracking, SK Telecom is developing tracking services to identify and track the location of vehicles, people/things, and assets. In cooperation with the local governments, the company plans to launch “Safe Watch,” a wearable designed to enhance the safety of children and the elderly in July 2016. 

For monitoring, SK Telecom will offer monitoring services capable of controlling and managing manufacturing/public/commercial facilities. For instance, monitoring service for a company that has a large-scale production facility will ensure that the equipment within the facility are operated in an optimal manner and the production environment is kept safe at all times. 

Going forward, SK Telecom plans to launch a total of 20 LoRa-based IoT services by the end of 2016 including a manhole monitoring service in September and real-time shared parking service in October. The company began providing LoRa modules free of charge on July 1, 2016 with the aim of facilitating the development and launch of LoRa services. 

What are your thoughts about the first nationwide IoT network? Let us know in the comments.

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