SK Telecom announces prices for internet of things service

04 July 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Korean operator SK Telecom has announced prices for its low power wide area network, which has gone into commercial service six months ahead of schedule.

The network, which is based on LoRa technology, covers 99% of the population of South Korea. SK Telecom also has an LTE-M 4G network and plans to use both for internet of things (IoT) services.

SK Telecom began providing LoRa modules free of charge on July 1. Aimed at facilitating the development and launch of LoRa services, the company will provide a total of 100,000 units of LoRa modules for free.

The company has set six different price tiers for what it calls “band IoT”, using LoRa. Prices range from $0.30 a month for a 100kB data allowance – typically used for metering and monitoring services, environmental monitoring and water leakage monitoring, says SK Telecom, up to $1.75 for 100MB, for safety management, lighting control, shared parking and similar services.

“SK Telecom is proud to announce the nationwide deployment of LoRaWAN as it marks the first important step towards realising connectivity between infinite number of things, going beyond the traditional role of telecommunications centred on connectivity between people,” said Lee Hyung-hee, president of mobile network business at SK Telecom.

He said that “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 start-ups to vitalise the IoT ecosystem.”

The company said plans to offer attractive price plans and develop innovative IoT services, while offering strong support for small and medium enterprises. It will invest a total of $87 million by the end of 2017 and expects these efforts to lead to rapid expansion of the IoT industry by connecting over four million things to its IoT-dedicated networks by the end of 2017.

The low cost of the LoRa module – which is just one-fifth of that of an existing LTE module – will contribute to the development of the wide variety of IoT devices, said the company.