SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics to build 'world's first' nationwide IoT-dedicated network

SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics are partnering to deploy what they claim to be the world’s first nationwide long-range wide area network (LoRaWAN) for the internet of things across South Korea.

The network will be deployed across the country using the 900MHz spectrum, with a scheduled launch in Daegu, Korea next month. It is expected to be available nationwide in Korea by the middle of this year.

The two companies will use Daegu as a test bed, focussing on infrastructure for renewable energy services and driverless cars, cloud platforms as well as big data analytics of healthcare and medical services.

“With the early deployment of a nationwide IoT network, SK Telecom will be able to maintain its position as pioneer in the field of telecommunications,” said Lee Jong-bong, executive vice president and head of Infra Division at SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will continue to work closely with partners including Samsung to deliver new value and convenience to both individual and enterprise customers over the IoT network.”

LoRaWAN IoT networks use an unlicensed, public spectrum known as the industrial scientific and medical (ISM) frequency band and are said to provide a more affordable and power efficient alternative to mobile networks for IoT.

Samsung Electronic’s president and head of networks business, Youngky Kim, said ICT companies are now in a critical time looking for future  business opportunities such as IoT services. “We are very pleased to partner with SK Telecom for its pioneering IoT vision. Samsung will contribute in creating the ecosystem for enabling significant changes driven by new IoT services,” said Kim. 

The South Korean government have announced plans to invest $90 million (100 billion won) by 2024 in the smart cars and IoT market. 

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