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Mobile Carriers concentrate on the Home IoT - Competition to become the First Case of Successful IoT Intensifies
01/13/2015 | By Kim Yong-joo (kyj@etnews.com)

Top 3 mobile carriers will join hands with manufacturers and release over 30 smart home (home IoT) products this year. They took aim at the most popular home IoT as the first case of success in the age of IoT. They are planning to flood the market with numerous products throughout the year unlike last year when they released a couple of pilot products.


Beyond simply providing communication lines, they are expected to compete fiercely for the ‘home IoT platform’ in a bid to generate definite added value.


As of January 12, to summarize the IoT business plans of the top 3 mobile carriers, i.e. SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus, they are planning to release over 30 home IoT products.


Having entered into a partnership agreement with 13 companies in 10 product groups last year, SK Telecom aims to commercialize them one after another. For starters, from mid-April, the company will unveil the ‘home IoT platform’ that can be applied to various household appliances like dehumidifiers, door locks and air-conditioners. In particular, it is going to open this platform and allow any manufacturer or mobile carrier to use this platform. If so, the types of devices applicable to the platform will infinitely increase theoretically.


As Jang Dong-hyeon, new CEO of SK Telecom, decided to take the helm of the new ‘platform supervision’ organization, it is said that the home IoT platform cannot but get a shot in the arm. In addition, the No. 1 telecom operator decided to reinforce its cooperation with large corporations.


Having selected the home IoT as its main business for this year, LG Uplus will launch the greatest number of new products, 18. Having introduced the ‘Uplus Gas Lock,’ which remotely controls the gas valve with the smartphone, at the end of last year, LG Uplus is planning to consolidate its leadership image in the home IoT sector.


The company will be the first Asian company to actively apply the NFC technology Z Wave whose alliance was selected as a member of the BOD of the Alliance. It also decided to develop the home IoT platform in connection with the Z-Wave Alliance.


KT put more emphasis on the platform than on home IoT products. To eliminate the inconvenience of installing applications for controlling individual products in the smartphone, the mobile carrier decided to develop the platform for controlling home IoT products with a single application. KT will release this integrated platform in the first half of this year.


This platform will use the Giga Internet, which KT is diffusing across the country these days, as the network infrastructure and the IPTV as the control center.


As KT is already providing the ‘3MP’ service that centrally controls industrial IoT services, it is sure that it can develop the platform for homes.


“The telecom industry is faced with the task of creating an added value beyond simply providing communication lines while doing the IoT business,” said an executive from a mobile carrier. “In this respect the key is who preoccupies the home IoT platform.” 



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