KT and LG Uplus to share IoT research labs

James Pearce
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Korean operators have teamed up on an IoT project as they look to compete with SK Telecom

Korean operators KT and LG Uplus have struck a partnership that will the two firms share research labs for the internet of things and related services.

The partnership is seen as a way for the two smaller operators to compete with larger rival SK Telecom, and will see the co-development of IoT chipsets and modules.

LG’s lab in Sangam-dong, Western Seoul, and KT’s lab in Pangyo, Gyeonggi, will be opened to each other, an expansion of their existing partnership which was struck in November 2016.

The original partnership saw the two firms working together to develop a narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) ecosystem in order to compete with SK’s plans to deploy a LoRa network. Both NB-IoT and LoRa are low power, wide area network (LPWAN) solutions which are expected to play a key role in the wide-scale deployment of IoT.

KT and LG Uplus will introduce a remote gas metering system based on a nationwide NB-IoT network established recently, then start expanding services into tracking children and remotely managing cars and electricity. They will also develop a joint certification specification in the future, according to reports form Korea.

Kim Jun-Keun, KT’s head of the IoT project team, said: "We will make the opportunity to scale up 600 Giga IoT Alliance members and find start-ups to enter the IoT market."