SK Telecom announced that it has completed the nationwide deployment of Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) based on LoRa technology. The Operator also launched price plans for LoRa-based IoT services and new offerings in specific IoT verticals.
The Operator claims that its LoRaWAN network across the country has already been completed by the end of last month, six months earlier than its initial schedule, covering 99 percent of the population. By securing both nationwide LTE-M and LoRaWAN, which are the two main pillars of the IoT network, SK Telecom said that it is now fully ready to create valuable business opportunities in the IoT era. The Operator had completed nationwide LTE-M rollout in March, 2016.
For its LoRa-based IoT services, SK Telecom unveiled the “Band IoT” plans which come in six different tiers – i.e. from Band IoT 35 (approx. USD 0.3) priced at KRW 350 to Band IoT 200 priced at KRW 2,000(approx. USD 1.75), depending on data use to allow SK Telecom’s customers, both enterprises and individuals, to choose one that suits the needs of their services.
Considering the characteristics of the LPWA network, SK Telecom will also be developing services in the areas of metering, tracking and monitoring, with the aim of launching a total of 20 LoRa-based IoT services by the end of 2016, including a manhole monitoring service (in September) and a real-time shared parking service (in October).
Apart from these, SK Telecom will also be creating a space called ‘IoT Open Testbed’ for SMEs and startups at its Bundang Building to offer a one-stop development environment - which encompasses network, device and platform - for IoT services. Additionally, it will be setting up a partner program, called ‘Partner Hub Program’ in its effort to vitalize the IoT ecosystem by encouraging the participation of developers, SMEs and startups nurture partners.
The above initiatives will see SK Telecom investing a total of KRW 100 billion by the end of 2017. It expects these efforts to lead to rapid expansion of the IoT industry by connecting over 4 million things to its IoT-dedicated networks by the end of 2017.