South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) has signed a contract with Samsung Electronics for the deployment of what it is claimed will be the world’s first commercial Internet of Things (IoT)-dedicated nationwide LoRaWAN network. A press release revealed that the network will be rolled out across South Korea using the 900MHz frequency band, with the commercial service scheduled to launch in Daegu, Korea’s fourth largest city, next month; nationwide availability is expected by the mid-2016. Daegu will serve as a test bed for the IoT network, and focus on setting up and adopting infrastructure for renewable energy solutions, cloud platforms and big data analytics of healthcare and medical services, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure for autonomous cars.
LoRaWAN IoT networks use an unlicensed, public spectrum called the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency band, and to prevent degradation of other industrial communications already using this band it has been confirmed that the network will support the Listen Before Talk (LBT) function. Meanwhile, a new service model – the Internet of Small Things (IoST) – will also be introduced as a key facilitator for more business opportunities utilising the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN); LPWAN is a group of technologies optimised to transmit small amounts of data at very low speeds of below 5kbps.
‘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 SKT, adding: ‘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.’