KT deploys IoT to keep street trees healthy

  • November 16, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Korea Telecom is working with local companies Mystech and steel producer Posco to develop smart street facilities that can make cities more eco-friendly.

The aim is to combine Posco’s steel, KT’s IoT offering and Mystech’s production technology. They plan to install various facilities on streets, such as streetlights on the ground and underground water supply and drainage.

Under the agreement signed last month, the three companies are willing to work together in proposing a smart street facilities to local governments and forming a task force for joint marketing.

The facility includes a water supply block that stores rainwater and releases it at appropriate periods, and a protection guard that prevents the rise of the ground caused by tree roots. The IoT sensor installed on the water supply block monitors the conditions of the tree and soil and calculates in real time when water is required.

This is expected to prevent trees by the street from withering due to high temperatures caused by global warming and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the urban area by lengthening the life cycle of the trees. Also, it can improve the aesthetics of the urban area by putting relevant facilities underground.

Posco will provide PosMac, a high corrosion-resistant steel product for the facility. KT will build an IT platform by using IoT sensors, including one to monitor the amount of rainwater and another to detect leakage current. And Mystech will produce and supply the water supply block and the protection guard, which are Innovilt products, Posco’s premium brand of construction material.

In addition to the protection guard, porous pavement or sidewalk blocks produced with by-products of steelmaking by Posco’s in-house venture, iOmtek, will be installed as a package. Unlike the conventional sidewalk blocks made of bricks, porous sidewalk blocks are eco-friendly since they are permeable and can be taken apart and reassembled.

Posco’s Sang-Gyun Kim, KT’s Hyun-Seok Lee and Mystech’s Jin-Hwan Kim were present at the signing ceremony.

Sang-Gyun Kim said: “This project is meaningful in that large companies, SME and a venture company will join forces to restore the green ecosystem of the local community and it will promote the eco-friendly image of steel in the construction material market.”

From the left: Hyun-Seok Lee, Jin-Hwan Kim and Sang-Gyun Kim.

This forms part of Smart Green City, a project established by the Korean government as part of the eight Green New Deal initiatives. It aims to realise a sustainable green city amid the current climate and environmental crisis. The Korean government plans to select 25 smart green cities and invest KRW290bn in total for two years from 2021.

Mystech was founded in 2002 and produces products for roadside facilities such as sewer covers and protection plates for trees. Posco’s relationship with the company dates back 15 years when the two companies created sewer coverage that prevents odour.