Samsung and SK Telecom to create world’s first dedicated nationwide IoT network


Samsung Electronics has announced a new contract with South Korea’s largest wireless telecommunications company, SK Telecom, to deploy the world’s first dedicated nationwide commercial Internet of Things (IoT) network.

The LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) will be deployed across Korea using the 900MHz frequency band. The commercial service is scheduled to launch in Daegu, Korea’s fourth-largest city, next month and will be available nationwide by the middle of this year. Daegu will serve as a testbed for the IoT network and will 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. For example, streetlights in the city will collect weather and traffic information using IoT sensors, enabling cost savings by automatically adjusting the lighting level, and also sending air pollution status information. The project has the potential to expand from the concept of a functional ‘Smart City’ to create the world’s first ‘Smart Country’.

SK Telecom’s LoRaWAN IoT networks use an unlicensed, public spectrum called the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency band. To prevent degradation of other industrial communications already using the ISM band, the network will support the Listen Before Talk (LBT) function.

A new service model, the Internet of Small Things (IoST), will also be introduced as a key facilitator for more business opportunities using the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) like LoRaWAN. The LPWAN is a group of technologies optimized to transmit small amounts of data at very low speeds of below 5Kbps. Samsung’s IoT strategy combines network technology and systems, with leadership across all business units, including consumer electronics and chipsets. This synergy makes Samsung unique, delivering successful IoT assets at an industry-leading pace. The company manufactures a vast array of consumer and commercial devices that will be able to interact with the new national IoT network.

“With the early deployment of a nationwide IoT network, we will be able to maintain our position as a pioneer in the field of telecommunications,” said Lee Jong-bong, executive vice president and head of the infra division at SK Telecom. “We 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.”

Youngky Kim, president and head of networks business at Samsung Electronics, commented, “Now is a critical moment for ICT companies looking for new 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.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).