South Korea’s largest wireless operator SK Telecom Co. said Monday that it successfully completed deployment of Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) based on LoRa technology - LoRaWAN - across the nation, the first in the world to establish nationwide infrastructure allowing Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem and its proliferation.
The IoT network would be provided through two main platforms - LoRaWAN and the LTE-M that had been available since March.
LoRaWan platform is useful for simple application such as automatic gas meter check and street lighting while LTE-M would be required for bigger and complicated data transmission such as air traffic control.
Despite concerns for pricing, SK Telecom said its LoRaWan-based IoT services would be available at affordable pricing plan. They would cost one-tenth of the mobile carrier’s LTE-based IoT services. The “Band IoT” plans come in six different ranges - from Band IoT 35 priced at 350 won ($0.30) to Band IoT 200 priced at 2,000 won.
SK Telecom also slashed the cost of the LoRa module to one-fifth of that of an existing LTE module. The first 100,000 modules would be handed out for free.
SK Telecom is also developing the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to enable public utility providers to not only measure but also control the metering devices. It plans to launch “Safe Watch” - a wearable designed to enhance the safety of children and the elderly - during this month under sponsorship of local governments.
It will encourage engagement of developers and startups to co-develop the IoT services under its program dubbed “Partner Hub Program.” It also plans to launch 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.
By Oh Chan-jong
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