Date
19 October 2017
SK Telecom is charging a monthly flat rate of less than US$2 for 100 megabytes of data. Photo: Bloomberg
SK Telecom is charging a monthly flat rate of less than US$2 for 100 megabytes of data. Photo: Bloomberg

Top Korean carrier launches cut-rate internet of things network

SK Telecom Co. has launched a low-cost nationwide network for the so-called internet of things, which helps devices talk to each other.

The company, South Korea’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers, is charging a monthly flat rate of less than US$2 for 100 megabytes of data to its heaviest users, for instance for real-time lighting control and security, Bloomberg reports.

Lower-end users get charged even less.

Amid a slow decline in its mobile business, SK Telecom is betting on the as-yet immature technology to outstrip its rivals.

It will invest up to 100 billion won (US$87 million) by the end of next year to build up the infrastructure.

It hopes to connect more than four million products from households, factories and offices to its network by then, the company said in a statement.

The mobile operator has just finished deploying a low-power wireless area network based on LoRa technology, one of several standards competing for global adoption, covering 99 percent of the population.

“An initial revenue decline is inevitable,” said Cha In-Hyok, head of SK Telecom’s internet of things solutions business office.

The new LoRa-based network service costs “one-tenth” of the company’s fourth-generation LTE-based service for connected things, according to the company.

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