Tuesday, 12 December 2017

SK Telecom completes LTE Cat-M1 upgrade

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom
Monday 13 November 17

Korean operator says 3GPP's IoT standard will complement its LoRa network.

SK Telecom on Monday completed the upgrade of its LTE-M IoT network to LTE Cat-M1. The Korean operator said the 3GPP-based IoT standard, which supports a maximum 1-Mbps data rate over licensed spectrum, will complement its LoRa…

SK Telecom on Monday completed the upgrade of its LTE-M IoT network to LTE Cat-M1.

The Korean operator said the 3GPP-based IoT standard, which supports a maximum 1-Mbps data rate over licensed spectrum, will complement its LoRa-based IoT network, which went live in July last year and carries data at a much lower transmission speed over unlicensed spectrum.

SK Telecom said it has linked the two networks and is able to allocate high-volume IoT data to its LTE Cat-M1 network, and low-volume data to its LoRa network. Using the example of monitoring a fire, data generated by smoke and heat sensors would be carried by the latter, while the former would be used for transmitting images from the scene and for controlling devices – such as sprinklers – remotely.

The LTE Cat-M1 deployment follows field trials on its live network in August in partnership with Ericsson and Qualcomm.

"The deployment of LTE Cat-M1 is a significant achievement in the IoT ecosystem as it lays the foundation for operators to evolve our IoT networks," said Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of SK Telecom's network technology R&D centre. "It has enabled us to build stronger capabilities to optimise networks in accordance with the type of IoT services, helping to create a competitive edge in delivering the hybrid network for IoT applications."

SK Telecom said LTE Cat-M1 also improves the economics of manufacturing cellular IoT modules, which will contribute to the overall expansion of the IoT ecosystem.

"The affordability of the technology would also lead to less burden on IoT device owners, contributing to the expansion of the market for IoT applications," SK Telecom said.

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