BUSINESS

KT to build fine dust monitoring system leveraging telecom infrastructure

By Sohn Ji-young
  • Published : Sept 20, 2017 - 15:18
  • Updated : Sept 20, 2017 - 15:19
South Korea’s mobile carrier KT has set out to develop a new nationwide network to monitor and manage ultrafine dust levels by leveraging its existing telecommunications infrastructure and network technologies.

KT said Wednesday announced the launch of the “Air Map Korea Project,” pledging to invest 10 billion won ($8.87 million) for the nationwide project.

KT's telecommunications infrastructure installed across Korea (KT)

The company plans to turn its network infrastructure — most of which are located in central locations populated with people — into stations for monitoring fine dust and other forms of aerial pollution in real-time via Internet of Things technology.

The telecom company currently operates some 5 million internet communications technology infrastructure around the country. Most of the equipment are no taller than 10 meters and are located within people’s breathing space, making them suitable spots for fine dust tracking, KT said.

The mobile carrier will select the best spots by the year’s end, after which it will proceed to install the IoT-based monitoring stations. And with the data it collects, KT hopes to build a more accurate database of Korea’s air quality for the government and the public.

“We are hoping that the fine dust-related big data we accumulate can help the government’s efforts to build policies to reduce Korea’s fine dust levels,” KT said in a press release.

Korea’s air quality has been growing poorer by the year as clouds of fine dust particles regularly form a yellow haze in the sky. Fine dust has been raising health concerns as it can cause respiratory problems and hurt the body’s immune system. 

By Sohn Ji-young (jys@heraldcorp.com)