Nokia, KT hook up for Internet of Things lab in Korea

South Korean operator KT is joining forces with Nokia Networks (NYSE:NOK) to set up the country's first Internet of Things (IoT) lab, an initiative that underscores the companies' commitment to foster a "programmable world" through the convergence of IT and telecom.

The lab will provide IoT-related technical expertise and knowledge to small- and medium-sized partner companies to lay a foundation for the creation of an ecosystem "where everyone and everything is connected," the companies said.

The initiative is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both companies during Mobile World Congress 2015 back in March. KT and Nokia Networks also agreed to implement what they say will be the world's first LTE for machine-to-machine (LTE-M)  field trial by the fourth quarter of 2015.

LTE-M, which is expected to be integrated into 5G networks, is an LTE variant that meets the needs of massive, machine-type communication as generated by large sensor networks. It also provides a battery life of more than 10 years, four times additional coverage and minimal device costs because the chipset will be much simpler, according to Nokia. All those factors are important for economically connecting billions of sensors and machines, which are often located behind walls or in remote locations. Standardization of LTE-M is expected to be finalized at the beginning of 2016.

The IoT lab will feature a virtual environment to enable interworking and network verification on Nokia Networks' LTE infrastructure, as well as technical assistance to small- and medium-sized partner companies that want to participate.

"Together with Nokia Networks, we are leveraging upon the convergence of IT and Telecommunications to hasten our transformation into an ICT powerhouse," said Yun Kyoung-Lim, head of Future Convergence Business Office at KT, in a press release. "Furthermore, this lab is a strong iteration of our vision to become the number one player in Korea's IoT market. Our efforts are aimed at encouraging greater participation by domestic companies, which are a crucial factor in driving the change towards a creative IoT-based economy."

Last week at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Nokia launched its IoT connectivity solution for LTE core and radio networks, so existing LTE networks can be "IoT ready." Following what Nokia describes as an easy three-step approach, operators can migrate their LTE core network to an IoT overlay. The process allows operators to migrate their core domains so they can tackle the mix of mobile broadband and M2M traffic in a cost-efficient way while keeping operational impact at minimal level, the vendor says.

For more:
- see this Mobile World Live article
- see this press release

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