South Korean operator KT teamed with Samsung to launch its first narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) service on a trial basis in Seoul, the country’s capital.
The two-month pilot of a location tracking service is designed to help KT extend coverage, and develop additional services and use cases in the near future.
Chang-Seok Seo, EVP and head of network strategy at KT, said IoT services will remove boundaries between industries with their ability to connect everything. “KT will open up new possibilities of the IoT era by generating unprecedented services and industry convergence.”
With its low-power consumption and cost-effective devices, NB-IoT is suited for a wide range of services, such as utility metering, smart factories, cargo tracking, and location tracking of children and goods.
Samsung deployed its latest NB-IoT technology on the operator’s existing LTE base stations and rolled out its virtualised cellular IoT core platform. The vendor said interoperability tests between NB-IoT networks and new devices have been completed.
“What we have achieved together with KT is a key industry milestone that will accelerate LTE vertical businesses based on IoT technologies,” said Jinsoo Jeong, SVP and head of domestic business marketing at Samsung’s Networks unit.
KT signed an NB-IoT supply contract with Samsung in February. One of the key elements in the contract is the vendor’s virtualised core solution for cellular IoT, the vendor said.
NB-IoT is one of three cellular-based technologies designed to support Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) IoT services. Rival proprietary technologies include Sigfox and LoRa. In fact, Samsung last year teamed with KT’s competitor SK Telecom on deployment of a nationwide LoRA network.