SK Telecom to dominate smart home services market by 2020

The telco believes it can secure more than 50 percent of the local smart home services market for new homes by 2020, a day after signing a deal with equipment provider Kocom.

SK Telecom, South Korea's largest mobile carrier, announced on Tuesday that the company has positioned itself to become the local leader in smart home services by 2020.

The company previously inked a deal with home automation companies Commax in September 2015 and Hyundai Telecom in November 2015, and on Monday signed an MOU with smart home equipment provider Kocom.

The company said that now, with these three agreements in its pocket, it can take more than 50 percent of the smart home services market for new homes by 2020.

The telecom could be right, too, because it has cultivated an ecosystem of local home network companies that will boost the distribution of its smart home services.

SK Telecom said the memorandum of understanding that it signed with Kocom means the two companies will help each other develop their smart home businesses, including the development of intelligent home network systems and smart light-emitting diode lighting equipment.

"We will work to provide smart home services to more than 50 percent of newly-built houses by 2020," said Cho Young-hoon, VP of SK Telecom's smart home business unit, in a press statement.

SK Telecom will also deliver an intelligent smart home service that connects various data, including user data, weather information, and a personal assistant platform, as well as remote control and timer settings. For example, if a heat detector within a gas circuit breaker detects a fire, the gas valve and boiler will automatically go off and the sprinkler system will turn on by itself.

"We can now really increase smart home services to the housing market with the three largest home network companies in South Korea joining the ecosystem we have established along with other domestic partners."

SK Telecom and Kocom will provide their intelligent home network system for 500 new houses in a complex scheduled to open this August.

"Thus, through a product mash up, SK Telecom will be able to offer more convenient services to their customers," a company spokesperson said.

Users will be able to manage climate control systems remotely and shift home appliances to a power-saving mode to reduce electricity consumption. By the second half of 2016, the companies will coordinate their smart home platform and accelerate distribution of their smart home services, SK Telecom said.

"It will be a pleasure to provide smart home services through IoT-based technologies under this partnership agreement with SK Telecom," said Ko Jin-ho, vice-president of Kocom.

Kocom's home network system links household devices, such as climate control systems, lights, remote metering systems, and home security systems. SK Telecom and Kocom will provide a smartphone app so users can easily manage home appliances and other home network system functions.