By Juan Pedro Tomás
South Korea aims to commercialize 6G services by around 2028, local news agency Yonhap reported, citing the country’s science minister.
“We are continuing our preparations for the 6G era with the aim of commercializing 6G from 2028 to 2030. [6G] will offer a network 50 times faster than the current service and an expanded coverage of up to 10 kilometers above the ground,” Science and ICT Minister Lim Hye-sook said during a recent speech at Mobile World Congress 2022.
Lim added that South Korea has made rapid progress in 5G network speed and coverage since it became the first country to commercialize 5G services in April 2019.
The official also said that South Korea will push ahead to unfold a new age with innovative digital technologies, including metaverse, blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud.
During the congress, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month, the minister held bilateral talks with officials from the US, Finland and Indonesia to discuss partnerships in 5G, 6G and metaverse.
In January, the Korean government announced that it was working on next-generation network development strategies together with local carriers and tech firms SK Telecom, KT, LG Uplus, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.
The government and the companies aim to carry out cooperation activities for the development and innovation of 5G backbone and as-yet-unstandardized future 6G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and satellite communication.
Samsung Electronics has also recently announced it will collaborate with Korea University to establish a department dedicated to the research and development of next-generation technologies such as 6G. Starting in 2023, 30 students will be able to study in Korea University’s next-gen tech department.
In 2019, LG established the LG-KAIST 6G Research Center in partnership with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
LG and KAIST had previously partnered with US-based test and measurement firm Keysight Technologies with the aim of carrying out research on future 6G technologies.
Under the terms of the agreement, the three partners will cooperate in developing technologies related to terahertz frequencies, widely seen a key frequency band for 6G communications, which have not yet been standardized. The partners aim to complete 6G research by 2024.
LG previously said that 6G is expected to be commercialized in 2029. LG also noted that future 6G technologies will provide faster data speed, lower latency and higher reliability than 5G, and will be able to bring the concept of Ambient Internet of Everything (AIoE), which provides enhanced connected experience to users.
The government of South Korea previously said it aims to launch a pilot project for not-yet-standardized 6G mobile services in 2026.