Home5GNew LoRa-based network covers more than 306km of South Korean expressway

New LoRa-based network covers more than 306km of South Korean expressway

South Korean’s government-affiliated Korean Expressway Corporation (KEC) has deployed built a network based on Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol for more than 306 km of its expressways. The LoRa-based network is viewed as the “first stage” in the country’s four-year Internet of Things (IoT) deployment plan.

Deployment of the network began in 2019 when KEC initiated the installation of 78 LoRa-based gateways across the expressway. Woojoo Telecom and SK Telesys were selected as operators for the project and conducted communication road tests, as well as tests inside tunnels.

According to Semtech and KEC, the network currently offers strategic functions such as parking space and trash bin fill monitoring at rest areas, and real-time condition tracking for shock-absorbing barriers and guardrails.

“Semtech’s LoRa devices and LoRaWAN networks represent the ideal infrastructure on which to build Korea’s next-generation IoT solutions,” said Hyo-Hoon Kim, manager at SK Telesys. “One of our main goals is providing citizens and local businesses with the opportunity to innovate and create their own IoT applications. With LoRa, developers can quickly and effectively create solutions to enable a smarter, more efficient home for us all.”

From the perspective of Marc Pegulu, vice president of IoT for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group, there is a rising global demand for massive IoT, reflected, he said, in the “increasing implementation of large scale, flexible applications.”

“These deployments increase efficiency and cost savings for those government entities providing public infrastructure such as nationwide expressways, and LoRa devices represent an ideal technology and connectivity backbone,” he continued.

Pegulu also claimed that LoRa devices and LoRaWAN networks address “hundreds of use cases,” and in a separate conversation with Enterprise IoT Insights, further predicted that growth in 5G adoption will create additional use cases for the technology, particularly in the smart factory space.

“A lot of investments are going to be made in terms of infrastructure once 5G is deployed [and] it’s a very, very low cost to add LoRaWAN to connect all your small cells, which are battery operated and won’t be connected by the high bandwidth side of the 5G,” he said.

KEC plans to expand the LoRa-based network’s applications in the next few years to include landslip detectors, road-freezing sensors, electronic displays, fire extinguishers in tunnels and expressway lights.

IoT networks based on the LoRaWAN specification have been deployed in 100 countries and Semtech is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance.

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