​South Korean IoT sales grew 23 percent in 2017

Revenue of Internet of Things (IoT) companies in South Korea grew 23.4 percent to 7.16 trillion won ($6.6 billion) last year.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

South Korean IoT businesses saw their revenue grow 23.4 percent last year to 7.16 trillion won, the country's Science Ministry has said.

It was a significant rise from 2016's 5.8 trillion won, due to a rise in demand for IoT services and devices locally and globally, it said.

Out of the total revenue, 6.65 trillion won was from the local market, while 510 billion won was exports, the ministry's survey showed.

In total, there were 2,118 businesses working in IoT with 479,734 employees last year.

351 companies offered platforms, or software, while 126 dealt with networks and 543 sold devices. 1,098 were service companies, the ministry said.

Device firms accounted for 47.8 percent of the total revenue, followed by service firms, with 21.3 percent.

Services accounted for only 14.3 percent in 2016 but demand rose in almost all industries last year.

The biggest complaints from surveyed firms were a lack of government support from policy, accounting for 23 percent. 22.4 percent complained of a lack of funds and 12.3 percent a lack of business model. 12 percent said there was insufficient standardization and 10.9 percent market uncertainty.

In demand to the government category showed 26.5 percent wanted more financial support, while 21.5 percent wanted more R&D projects ordered by the government. 15.5 percent wanted regulatory support.

Local telcos commercialised affordable IoT-dedicated networks back in 2016. SK Telecom rolled out its LoRa network that year, while KT launched an NB-IoT network.

Last week, Xiaomi and Naver announced a partnership to apply AI into IoT devices.


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