Samsung and SK Telecom to launch nationwide LoRa IoT network

South Korean giants Samsung and SK Telecom have announced an imminent roll out of a nationwide IoT network using the LoRa protocol.

Using the 900 MHz frequency band, Samsung and SK will deploy the dedicated IoT network across the country mid-2016 following an initial roll out in Daegu next month, which will serve as an early test bed for determining potential service use cases. Potential deployment scenarios identified by Samsung include 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.

“Now is a critical moment for ICT companies looking for new future business opportunities such as IoT services,” said Youngky Kim, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “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.”

LoRa has been gaining traction in the operator community recently, with Orange last week joining the LoRa Alliance board and confirming its intentions of rolling out a nationwide low-power network for IoT. SK joins Orange and a number of other telcos, including Du, Swisscom and KPN in deploying low power wide area network (LPWAN) technology.

LPWAN is a group of networking technologies which are optimised for transmitting very small amounts of data at very low speeds, usually at less than 5kbps. Dedicated platforms for small devices are leading to the use of a new term called the Internet of Small Things, which Samsung says will be a key facilitator for more business opportunities in Korea if enabled by LPWAN tech such as LoRa.

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