In Business Model, Internet Access, Mobile, News, Spectrum

SK Telecom says it is deploying the world’s first commercial Internet of Things (IoT)-dedicated nationwide LoRaWAN network, using a Samsung platform.

The network will be deployed across Korea using the unlicensed 900 MHz frequency band. The service is scheduled to launch in Daegu, Korea’s fourth largest city, next month and will be available nationwide by the middle of 2016.

SK Telecom will be testing renewable energy solutions, cloud platforms and big data analytics for healthcare and medical services, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure for autonomous cars.

Streetlights will collect weather and traffic information using IoT sensors, adjust  lighting levels and collect air pollution status information. 

Vodafone plans to roll out the narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) platform to support Internet of Things connectivity across multiple markets in 2017, said VodafoneInternet of Things group Director, Erik Brenneis.

As often is the case when new platforms are being commercialized, different tier-one mobile operators are making different bets.

Altice’s SFR is deploying Sigfox while rivals Bouygues and Orange have opted for LoRa. Orange, though, has not ruled out use of other platforms as well.

China Mobile also has chosen to support NB-IoT.

In some ways, the choice of NB-IoT is not too surprising. Historically, tier-one telcos have preferred solutions based on licensed spectrum, and also have preferred options that build on already-established networks and also have perceived “quality of service” advantages. BB-IoT fits within that approach.

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