SK Telecom rolls out affordable IoT network

SK Telecom rolls out affordable IoT network

South Korean mobile network SK Telecom has launched an Internet of Things (IoT) network for customers.

The low power wide area network (LPWAN) is based on LoRa technology and covers 99 percent of South Korea’s population.

It was scheduled to be launched later this year, but the firm finished work at the end of June, which is six months earlier than originally planned.

Many uses

By utilising both nationwide LTE-M and LoRaWAN, which form a major part of the IoT network, SK Telecom believes it can create “valuable business opportunities” for its customers. It finished LTE-M roll-out in March.

The telco sees a plethora of uses for the network, particularly for areas such as remote light control, wireless meter readings, manhole monitoring and wearables.

Related: Samsung and SK Telecom roll out LoRa network in South Korea

Bargain prices

To appeal to all types of customers, SK Telecom is offering the service at an affordable price point. Customers can expect to get 100 MB of data for 2,000 won per month, which is around $1.75 or £1.31.

And if a customer wants to use the network for meter reading, they’ll pay around 350 won (31 cents or 22p) a month. It’ll be distributing 100,000 free IoT modules.

Massive investment in IoT

SK Telecom will continue honing its IoT efforts and has said it’ll invest a total of KRW 100 billion by the end of 2017. More than 4 million objects will be connected to the network in 2017, it expects.

As well as investing billions in IoT, the firm also has plans to support growth by working with developers, SMEs and start-ups. It’s launched a program called “Partner Hub” for knowledge sharing.

Lee Hyung-hee, president of mobile network business at SK Telecom, said: “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.”

“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.”