SKT announces new IoT network

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SKT announces new IoT network

SK Telecom, the country’s top wireless carrier, will spend 100 billion won ($84 million) to establish a network system dedicated to Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the company said Wednesday.

The move is intended to boost industrial and corporate adoption of the IoT platform. While conventional networks like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are sufficient to support IoT devices at home like dishwashers and thermostats, the more advanced IoT devices used by larger companies or factories will require newer and more powerful networks

Under the plan, the carrier will build the nationwide network within the year.

Dubbed the Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN), it can operate at a lower cost, and with greater power efficiency and longer range, than existing mobile networks.

“Once built, LPWAN is expected to give birth to numerous types of new business models, as it dramatically saves battery power and costs for connectivity,” the company said in a statement.

“When the network is established, start-ups and smaller vendors can freely test and experiment with their IoT-related functions and services,” an SK Telecom representative said.

In line with the efforts to develop the IoT-friendly network, SK Telecom joined a multinational collaborative team called LoRa Alliance last July. The association has taken on the role of standardizing the emerging network.

The moves come as the government is trying to ease regulations on power transmission to nurture the IoT environment.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said on Tuesday that it will raise the maximum transmission power for the 900-megahertz frequency band from 10 megawatts to 200 megawatts.

SK Telecom’s investment will also go toward establishing an “IoT Control Center” to monitor the state of the new network in real time and adjust operations in response to various situations.

“Through our IoT strategy that encompasses networks, platforms and devices, SK Telecom will lead the growth of the IoT industry,” said Lee Hyung-hee, president and chief operating officer of SK Telecom.

“Our forward-looking efforts will also contribute to the creation of an enriched IoT ecosystem where developers, start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises can easily build diverse IoT services that can bring new and differentiated value for customers.”


BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]



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