Semtech uses LoRaWAN network deployment to complement Seoul’s citywide Wi-Fi, support plans to grow its smart city IoT environment

Semtech announced this week that the Metropolitan Government of Seoul, South Korea plans to deploy a new enterprise-grade citywide network for Internet of Things (IoT) applications based on Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol. The network is part of a larger plan by the city government to increase its connectivity offerings and create one of the initial “hyper-connected cities” by 2022. 

Also included in this plan is the creation of a public and free-to-use municipal Wi-Fi network, accessible to all from anywhere within the city’s limits.

Semtech’s LoRa devices are widely adopted long-range, low-power solutions for IoT that gives telecom companies, IoT application makers and system integrators the feature set necessary to deploy low-cost, interoperable IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide. 

IoT networks based on the LoRaWAN specification have been deployed in 100 countries and Semtech is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, the fastest growing IoT Alliance for Low Power Wide Area Network applications. 

“LoRaWAN and Wi-Fi cover hundreds of uses cases, many of which are highly complementary to key market segments for the future of city operation,” said Marc Pegulu, vice president of IoT for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “Applications leveraging LoRaWAN that make use of the unlicensed spectrum deliver simple, highly efficient, flexible, and secure IoT solutions. These are very important in large cities such as Seoul, where smarter municipal operations save time, resources and money.”

According to the Seoul government, the Smart Seoul Network, or “S-Net,” will provide all citizens with the basic right to Internet access through its deployment of new, ultra-connected smart city infrastructure. Main goals of the S-Net project are the establishment of a municipal broadband network, deployment of free-to-use Wi-Fi networks and increased integration of IoT infrastructure based on LoRa devices. 

By 2022, the city plans to deploy up to 1,000 LoRaWAN-based gateways to complement the municipal Wi-Fi and provide the foundation for Seoul’s innovative, next-generation smart city applications. 

Often ranked among the world’s most technologically advanced cities, Seoul is a world leader in Internet connectivity, being the capital of South Korea, which has high fibre-optic broadband penetration and highest global average internet speeds. 

Since 2015, Seoul has provided free Wi-Fi access in outdoor spaces through a 47.7 billion won ($44 million) project with Internet access at 10,430 parks, streets and other public places. Internet speeds in some apartment buildings reach up to 52.5Gbit/s with assistance from Nokia, and though the average standard consists of 100 Mbit/s services, providers nationwide are increasingly deploying affordable 1Gbit/s connections. In addition, the city is served by the KTX high-speed rail and the Seoul Subway, which provides 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and DMB inside subway cars. 

The city has announced several of such applications it plans to implement following the network’s completion. These applications include smart parking using IoT sensors to connect city lots, connected street lighting solutions that automatically report to police upon detecting an emergency and a geolocation application using the tracking information of those suffering from dementia and children to keep these citizens safe. 

Additionally, the city government expects to increase its collection and utilization of urban data to better address the needs of its citizens.

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