Thanks to growing demand, sales revenue of IoT businesses in South Korea rose 23.4 percent last year to 7.16 trillion won (about US$6.59 million), according to the country’s Science Ministry.
Device firms accounted for 47.8 percent of the total revenue, followed by service firms, with 21.3 percent. Services accounted for just 14.3 percent in 2016, but demand rose substantially last year.
Government data shows there were 2,118 businesses working in the IoT sector with 479,734 employees in total in 2017. Among the companies, 1,098 were service companies. 351 offered software or platform solutions, and 126 provided network solutions and 543 sold devices.
According to government survey, the biggest complaints from IoT firms were a lack of government policy support, accounting for 23 percent; 22.4 percent complained a lack of funds and 12.3 percent a lack of business model. Another 12 percent said there was insufficient standardization and 10.9 percent said there was market uncertainty.
In regards to the form of desired government support, 26.5 percent of the businesses wanted more financial support, while 21.5 percent wanted more R&D projects ordered by the government, and 15.5 percent wanted regulatory support.
Local Korean telecommunication companies rolled out affordable IoT-dedicated networks back in 2016, during which SK Telecom launched its LoRa network while KT introduced an NB-IoT network.
Last Wednesday, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and South Korean search giant Naver announced a partnership to apply AI in IoT devices.
As per the memorandum, Xiaomi will start using Clova as the AI in their IoT devices from now. Xiaomi through its Korean distributor, Youmi, will merge Naver’s AI into their own AI development.
Xiaomi’s IoT segment offers light bulbs, air purifiers, smart home kit, robot vacuum among others which will soon be powered by Clova.