Despite all the potential that we are already seeing from the Internet of Things (IoT) and the ever increasing number of devices (aka “things”) that are connected to it, there is a much bigger world out there just waiting to be connected. Samsung Electronics announced a plan for a dedicated wireless IoT network that will be available across Korea by the middle of the year.
The recently announced contract with SK Telecom will test the network in Korea’s fourth largest city, Daegu, next month. The test will focus on setting up and adopting infrastructure for renewable energy solutions, cloud platforms, and analytics of healthcare and medical services, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure for autonomous cars. For example, streetlights in the city will collect weather, traffic, and pollution data and automatically adjust the lighting level (enabling cost savings on demand).
The system will use a Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) on an unlicensed, public spectrum called the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) band. To protect communications already on the ISM band, the Internet of Things network will listen for signals from other nodes before attempting to transmit its own data (a principle called “listen before talk”). Other business opportunities are being considered on the same spectrum using small amounts of data at very low speeds (below 5Kbps)–this model is being called the “Internet of Small Things” (IoST).
Bringing the Internet of Things from the micro scale of our homes and offices to the macro size of cities and nations is not just a logical evolution but something that has been developing since the earliest infrastructure systems. Dams talk to power grids and request more energy from generators, weather and demand data are reported to reservoirs–old school connected things on a macro scale. Modern technology and analytics of the big data that is able to be collected just increases the effectiveness of these connections.
The Internet of Things network will be deployed across Korea after the test in Daegu and is expected to be available nationwide by the middle of the year. After that, it is only a matter of time before other nations connect their cities and all the data that they create.