Nationwide IoT network to link up South Korean smart cities

Smart city ambitions just leveled up thanks to a partnership between South Korean firms Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom that will build a nationwide Internet of Things (IoT) friendly network.

As reported by TheVerge.com, the companies announced plans to construct a network across South Korea for connected devices and smart city technology.

The coast-to-coast network is based on LoRaWAN technology, which stands for Long Range Wide-Area Network. The South Korean companies hail the initiative as the world’s first commercial LoRaWan network on a national scope. However, both KPN in Holland and Swisscom in Switzerland are rolling out national networks this year as well.

The network will be first rolled out in Korea’s fourth largest city Daegu utilizing the 900MHz frequency band. Following this, the network will be deployed nationally by mid-2016 according to the companies.

Samsung said that Daegu is serving as the test bed for the IoT network. Its initial focus will be on infrastructure for renewable energy, cloud computing and big data for healthcare and medical services, and infrastructure to accommodate electric cars and autonomous vehicles.

It gave an example of how Daegu’s streetlights will collect traffic and weather data via IoT sensors, which enables cost efficiencies by allowing the city to automatically adjust light levels, while simultaneously transmitting air pollution information.

South Koreans already have embraced connected tech

LoRaWAN is a long-range, low power and low-bandwidth networking technology that is ideally suited to facilitate communications between IoT sensors that will enmesh smart cities of the future. These networks seek to augment rather than replace existing networking solutions for connecting such devices like smartphones and laptops that consume large amounts of power and bandwidth.

South Korea is known as one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries with its capital Seoul being one of the smartest smart cities on the globe.  Indeed, almost every aspect of public life in Seoul is guided by technology, from its integrated public transport system to the government’s emergency warning system.

Seoul is partnering with such companies as Microsoft, Cisco and LG to deploy smart city technology in all corners of the metropolis.

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