After Netherlands, South Korea finishes the race to be an IoT country

As a step towards making the country even more connected, South Korea has launched its first ever commercial and low cost Internet of Things network. In doing so it becomes the second country after Netherlands to have launched nationwide IoT, an accomplishment which was facilitated by the Dutch telecommunications company KPL.

South Korea finishes the target of building a nationwide LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) six months ahead of its stipulated time. SK Telecom helped the country achieve this feat which would be serving 99% of South Korea’s population. Along with the existing LTE-M infrastructure that was completed in March, it would strengthen the IoT network and enable an access to public, private and commercial smart devices to capture and process much complex data with more speed and in larger quantities.

What would it mean to have a nationwide IoT?

One of the features that the company plans to have is Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), which is a two-way communication system between the utility company and users. This sophisticated remote metering and automatic safety capabilities would enhance user convenience and safety.

It also intends to host devices that can track location of people, vehicles, objects and assets as and when needed. One example is the collaboration of SK and local government for ‘Safe Watch’ which would let parents or carers have a track of the wearer. It would specifically be useful for the children and elderly.

SK Telecoms will also offer monitoring services that will be capable of controlling and managing various manufacturing and commercial facilities. It will have a check on the equipments within the facility, if they are being operated in an optimal manner and that the production environment is safe at all times.

Having a check on the environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration and hazardous materials in the soil and air is another affair that having a nationwide IoT can address.

Offers and plans:

In order to maximise the growth of the IoT market and for its people to have the most if the newly introduced services, SK Telecom has come up with attractive plans based on individual and corporate needs. In this direction the company would be investing a total of KRW 100 billion by the end of 2017 expecting a rapid expansion of the IoT industry by connecting over 4 million things to its IoT-dedicated networks by the end of 2017.

The monthly subscription plans range from 350 Korean won ($0.30, £0.20) to 2,000 won for 100 KB on Band IoT 35 plan to 100 MB on the Band IoT 200. It would allow long term users to fetch reasonable discounts.

Enabling partnership:

With an aim to encourage more business, SK Telecom would effort towards enabling increased participation of developers, SMEs and startups. The programed called ‘Partner Hub Program’ was launched to nurture partners and share its expertise and experience.

The company is also offering 100,000 LoRa modules for free to developers, a step aimed at facilitating the development and launch of LoRa services. It’s also running a program called ‘IoT Open Testbed’ to offer consulting, training and marketing for partners.

An already faster internet speed that South Korea is blessed with, granting a nationwide connectivity and strengthening IoT ecosystem comes as a major boost for the business in the country and we await to see the next country that makes it to the list of launching a nationwide IoT.

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Srishti Deoras
Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.

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