SK Telecom has teamed up with Telkom Indonesia on the development of IoT and media services, revealing they are in discussions to set up a joint Internet of Things venture within the next couple of years.
The deal draws particular attention to the LoRa technology that SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) is deploying, indicating the South Korean operator will share its experiences in this area so that IoT services can be tailored to the requirements of the Indonesian market.
LoRa is one of several low-power, wide-area (LPWA) network technologies that has recently been attracting interest from companies launching IoT services. Running over unlicensed spectrum, it looks a better bet than existing cellular technologies for services that require little bandwidth and low battery life and that need to cover broad geographical areas.
In March, SK Telecom unveiled plans to build a LoRa network covering the whole of South Korea at a cost of about 100 billion Korean won ($85.5 million).
SK Telecom's LoRa plans raise questions about its commitment to Sigfox , a company developing a rival LPWA technology. The operator was one of several companies to participate in a $115 million funding round for Sigfox in February 2015.
A spokesperson for the LoRa Alliance , the association that promotes LoRa, said the technology was quickly building momentum.
"This is one of the 56 ongoing proof of concepts converting," he told Light Reading. "SK [Telecom] is very active and pushing LoRaWAN widely, not just in Korea. This is just the beginning of a very busy and exciting summer."
SK Telecom said it would also make its ThingPlug IoT platform available to Telkom and collaborate with the Indonesian telco on the development of cloud-based TV services.
— Iain Morris, , News Editor, Light Reading