SK Telecom is spending 100 billion Korean won ($89 million) on a nationwide Internet of Things network, platform and apps development between now and the end of 2017. 

SK Telecom sees both LTE and LoRaWAN as necessary platforms for Internet of Things and machine-to-machine services and applications, in large part because the IoT network is expected to require extremely low cost and measures to radically extend battery life of devices and sensors using the network.

In broad terms, LTE is seen as supporting mobile apps, while LoRaWAN is seen as the network for fixed sensors and devices. The advantage of LoRaWAN, compared to the LTE-M network? About an order of magnitude lower price for connections to the LoRaWAN network. 

LoRaWAN, backed by the global LoRa Alliance, is optimized for low bandwidth and long-life devices. SK Telecom also sees the advantage of lower prices.

LoRa prices are around a tenth of those on SK Telecom’s national LTE-M network.

SKT has also developed an M2M-based platform, ThingPlug, and is working on utility metering, location tracking and monitoring services.