​SK Telecom deploys LTE Cat-M1 for IoT speed boost

SK Telecom will link LTE Cat-M1 with its LoRa network to allow new competitive IoT applications.

SK Telecom has deployed LTE Cat-M1 that will allow high volume data transfers in Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the company said.

LTE Cat-M1 is an upgraded standard from LTE-M that supports data rates of up to 1 Mbps. The telco said its deployment will boost voice and photo transmission in IoT applications.

It will link the standard with its low-power, low-volume LoRa network -- which has a data transfer rate of 5.4 kbps -- to offer a hybrid network that allows customers to allocate applications' low and high data depending on need from one server.

For example, in case of a fire, data from flame and temperature sensors will use the LoRa network while scene photos will be delivered on LTE Cat-M1.

LTE Cat-M1 modules are also cheaper than LTE-M and will burden IoT device owners less, the company said.

SK Telecom worked with Ericsson and Qualcomm, which supplies the base station and modems, for the trial and deployment.

The telco commercialized the IoT-dedicated LoRa network last year in July.

SK Telecom is also preparing its 5G offering, which it will deploy at the Pyeongchang Winter Games in South Korea next year. In September, it said it successfully reduced latency to 2 milliseconds for 5G.

Compatriot and main rival KT is offering an NB-IoT network.

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