Detailed tariffs revealed as SK Telecom unboxes its LoRa IoT network

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Jul 4, 2016

via Flickr © Free the Image (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Free the Image (CC BY 2.0)

  • SK releases tariff details for its LoRaWAN services
  • Offering six tiers calculated to meet needs for a wide range of applications/services
  • Looking to build an ecosystem of partners for services

SK Telecom says it’ completed its low power wide area network (LPWAN) build in South Korea and is ready to go to market with a range of application-specific services aligned with its two network types:  the ‘standard’ LTE-M which is based on existing LTE technology; and the proprietary low cost, low power, low everything LoRaWAN network it says it’s now completed building out ahead of schedule.

The LTE network services will be for critical, data-heavy, two way, interactive applications and is priced at around 10 times the LoRa services whose tariff details it has released today. It says it’s all set to connect more than 4 million devices to it by the end of next year.  

The LoRa Alliance’s mission was always to develop a telco-centred ecosystem where network operators were expected to get the lion’s share of the revenues and, most importantly, stay more or less in control of the IoT network. First choice was that telcos manage and sell the applications, perhaps via IoT partners who might be hosted on the network.

This approach appeals to telcos who, in candid moments, are likely to stress just how important it is that they don’t end up being hollowed out and de-monetized in the IoT market as they feel they’ve been by the Internet - reduced to ‘bit pipe’ status.

To this end SK Telecom says it plans to launch a further 20 LoRa ‘services’ by the end of the year all addressing specific verticals and targeting SMEs in particular.

Six LoRaWAN tiers


Price Plan

Data Allowance*

(Frequency of communication)

Monthly Flat Rate

(VAT Excluded)

Examples of Services


Band IoT 35


KRW 350


Metering and monitoring services (e.g. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), environmental monitoring, water leakage monitoring, etc.)

- Discount benefits for long-term contracts: Ranging from a 5% discount for two-year contracts to a 20% discount for 5 year-contracts


- Multi-line discount: Ranging from a 2% discount for those using 500 lines to a 10% discount to those who use 10,000 lines

Band IoT 50


KRW 500


Band IoT 70


KRW 700


Tracking services (e.g. locating tracking for people/things, asset management, etc.)

Band IoT 100


KRW 1,000


Band IoT 150


KRW 1,500


Control service

(e.g. safety management, lighting control, shared parking, etc.)

Band IoT 200


KRW 2,000



It is offering six tiers for its  LoRaWAN-based IoT services.  Band IoT 35 which it’s priced at 350 South Korean Won ( SKW) per month or UK£ 0.23, to Band IoT 200 priced at £1.32, depending on the amount of data used. Volume discounts on the number of connections contracted and the length of time contracted will also swing in.   

SK Telecom points out that applications such as utility gas meter where small amounts of data are transmitted might be suited to its Band IoT 35, while services designed to handle real-time communications with relatively heavy exchanges of data might better suit IoT 200.

For metering SK says it’s “currently focusing on Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), which enables the utilities companies to not only accurately measure/monitor usage but also control the metering devices. SK Telecom has been conducting a pilot project on AMI with SK E&S since November 2015, and plans to expand the service coverage to more regions of the country in July 2016. Going forward, the company will launch AMI services for other utilities including water and electricity.”

It’s also developing vehicle tracking services to track vehicles, people/things, and assets. And in cooperation with the local governments it’s planning “Safe Watch,” a wearable designed to enhance the safety of children and the elderly and aimed for launch next month.

Besides developing and launching IoT services of its own SK Telecom says it will be making “multifaceted efforts to vitalize the IoT ecosystem by encouraging the participation of developers, SMEs and startups.”

It  plans to set up a ‘Partner Hub Program’ to nurture partners. Through the program, SK Telecom will share its expertise and knowhow, provide training and conduct joint development/ marketing. It will create  a space called ‘IoT Open Testbed’ for SMEs and startups at its Bundang Building to offer a one-stop development environment - which encompasses network, device and platform - for IoT services.

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