The South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) announced that it would be investing over 220 billion won ($193 million) in developing and commercializing 6G networks. In particular, the country unveiled a five-year project revolving around 6G core technology research and development.
Given the heightening 6G telecommunication demand, the project targets to see results and standardize 6G networks by 2025. MSIT also revealed a preliminary plan discussing joint research with the US, strengthening South Korea’s competitiveness in the global future technology development competition.
US Bilateral Relations
Earlier this May, South Korean President Moon Jae-In visited the US to fortify bilateral relations. During the meeting, the two countries vowed to create a 6G partnership and increase R&D cooperation.
South Korea’s Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation also allied with the US National Science Foundation. In their memorandum of understanding, the two parties would conduct joint 6G technology research.
Besides the US, South Korea seeks to collaborate with other countries, including China and Finland, reinforcing its global 6G leadership. In particular, MSIT would cooperate with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. MSIT would also partner with Finland’s University of Oulu.
Developing Core 6G Tech
South Korea’s 6G network technology aims to reach a theoretical speed up to 50 times faster than current 5G capabilities. It also strives to cut down a tenth of 5G’s latency. Although the technology is still in the early development stage, the country expects to commercialize it as early as 2028.
Furthermore, MSIT said that the initiative would develop core 6G technologies, including integrated terrestrial and satellite networks. As part of the 6G network development, MSIT plans to launch 14 low Earth orbit telecommunication satellites. By 2031, the country aims to test the new satellite networks.
According to MSIT, the 220 billion-won investment demonstrates South Korea’s dedication to retaining its telecommunication technology competitive edge. South Korea is also the world’s first-ever country to commercialize 5G systems back in April 2019.
Domestic Companies’ 6G Visions
Aside from government efforts, South Korean companies continue to stay ahead of next-generation wireless technology trends, increasing 6G network preparations. Moreover, two industry-leading domestic companies have been actively escalating their 6G-related operations.
For instance, LG Electronics recently shared that it would be managing a core unit in the Next G Alliance, a cellular device 6G technology advancement initiative. Under the project, LG would conduct extensive 6G R&D, propelling the technology’s manufacturing, market-readiness, and standardization.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics joined hands with UCSB and developed a 6G THz wireless communication prototype system. Samsung also explored 6G capabilities and deployment setups with the new technology despite experiencing various technical issues.
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