South Korea’s largest mobile operator SK Telecom (SKT) wants to join hands with operators around the world to set up a global Internet of Things (IoT) roaming network based on low power wide area (LPWA) technology LoRa, The Korea Times reported.
R&D center SVP Park Jin-hyo said “we will actively share our know-how obtained while establishing and commercialising the LoRa network nationwide with partners at home and abroad, contributing to a global IoT ecosystem”.
The strategy is part of the Korean government’s national policy research projects.
SK Telecom recently discussed partnerships for the LoRa network to connect Korea and Europe with its partners, including Telefonica and French system integration providers EGM and CEA.
The French companies, currently testing their LoRa networks in Europe, agreed to discuss standardisation of roaming systems.
SKT will also meet officials from the LoRa Alliance in Berlin next week.
Earlier this month, SKT completed the nationwide commercial rollout of its LoRa network and said it wants to make “multifaceted efforts to vitalise the IoT ecosystem by encouraging the participation of developers, SMEs and startups”.
With an investment of KRW100 billion ($87 million), it expects to drive the rapid expansion of the IoT industry by connecting more than four million devices to its IoT-dedicated networks by the end of 2017.
KPN in the Netherlands in late June launched what it claimed was the world’s first nationwide LoRa network, while Bouygues and Orange in France are rolling out ambitious projects too.
LoRa is one of many LPWA technologies on offer to service providers, as well as RPMA from Ingenu and Sigfox.
LPWA networks are designed to provide wide coverage, low energy consumption and long battery life for IoT modules for small devices.
Meanwhile the cellular camp are hoping that NB-IoT technology – ratified by the 3GPP last month – will become commercially available next year from a number of tier one mobile operators.