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Semtech partners with SK E&S and SK Telecom on AMI system

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Semtech Corporation, a leading supplier of analog and mixed signal semiconductors, has announced it will be working with Korean gas supplier, SK E&S, and telecom operator, SK Telecom, to develop and deploy automated gas meters and detectors in Busan, Seoul and Gangwon Province to test a new advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system that the two Korean companies intend to deploy in eight cities across Korea in 2017.

The new meter, based on a proof of concept, uses LoRa®-based RF sensors to relay information regarding gas usage to the central office automatically using SKT’s LoRaWAN™ wireless network without any human intervention. The new meters will be capable of automatically shutting down the gas if they detect a leak, providing a much higher degree of safety than manual alternatives. In addition, the meters should provide a battery life of more than five years, which means the batteries typically will not need to be replaced for the lifetime of the meter as all meters must be replaced every five years by law in Korea.

“SK E&S supplies gas to about 23% of Korean households, and we believe that an AMI based on Semtech LoRa technology and SKT’s wireless network will help SK E&S reduce costs while also providing better service to its customers,” said Dr. Shin, Young Sik, IoT Solution Biz Planning Team Leader, IoT Solution Biz Office at SK Telecom. “With successful deployment results, we look forward to deploying the new AMI across Korea in 2017.”

“We are pleased that SKT has chosen to work with our LoRa Wireless RF technology,” said Marc Pegulu, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless, Sensing and Timing Product Group at Semtech. “We understand that the implementation team evaluated several options, but in the end they chose our solution because it had the right combination of range, battery life, reliability and support they were looking for.”

Key Features of LoRa RF Technology:

  • Long range: A single LoRa base station enables deep penetration capability for dense urban environments and indoor coverage, while also providing the ability to connect to sensors more than 15 - 30 miles away in rural areas.
  • Low cost: LoRa reduces up front infrastructure investments and operating costs, as well as end-node sensor costs.
  • Standardised: LoRaWAN ensures interoperability among applications, IoT solution providers and telecom operators to speed adoption and deployment.
  • Low Power: The LoRaWAN protocol was developed specifically for a low power environment and enables unprecedented multi-year battery lifetime.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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