South Korea pushes for 6G core technology autonomy

After South Korea launched the world's first 5G commercial service, how to develop 6G technology has become a new topic. In this regard, South Korean companies have already taken the lead, and the South Korean government has followed suit. Recently, they held a meeting with companies and launched the "6G Research and Development Implementation Plan." Among them, the core technology has become a distinctive feature of the plan.

According to the "6G Research and Development Implementation Plan" announced by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Information and Communication, South Korea will invest 220 billion won by 2025. The investment areas include ensuring 6G core independent technology, seizing the right to speak for patents and international standard formulation, building R&D and industry There are three basic elements in order to make South Korea become the world's top power in 6G technology.

Specifically, in the three major investment areas, ensuring 6G core autonomous technology is the highlight. On the one hand, of the 220 billion won that South Korea plans to invest, 200 billion won will be used to ensure 6G core autonomous technology. On the other hand, when the South Korean government promotes the development of other industries, it also incorporates the seizure of patents, the improvement of relevant international voice, and the integrated development of R&D and enterprises as supporting measures.

South Korea plans to promote 10 core autonomous technologies, including Tbps wireless communication, Tbps optical fiber communication, terahertz RF components, terahertz frequency band models, mobile communications, satellite communications, terminal ultra-precision networks, intelligent networks, and intelligent wireless Data exchange, 6G security technology. In short, South Korea intends to develop all 6G-related technologies that can be developed within its own capabilities, and its involvement in a relatively wide range of fields.

South Korea's efforts to promote the autonomy of 6G core technologies not only have its practical needs and more complete technical conditions, but also have a blessing in disguise, ushering in a period of 6G development opportunities.

In recent years, core technology has become a key word in South Korea’s economic strategy. For a long time, South Korea only advocated the promotion of free trade. However, as trade protectionism has had a huge negative impact on the world in recent years, South Korea has begun to turn to advocating trade multilateralization. In 2019, there was trade friction between South Korea and Japan. Many pillar industries in South Korea were "stucked" by Japan, and South Korea was forced to embark on the road of core technology autonomy. Since then, the autonomy of core technologies has become the primary issue that South Korea considers when developing high-tech industries, and South Korea has tried to ensure that the autonomy of 6G core technologies is in the same line.

In addition, when the plan introduced the goal of core technology autonomy, it emphasized that South Korea will promote the integration of satellite communication networks and terrestrial communication networks, and it will be aligned with the "satellite communication technology development strategy." South Korea plans to launch 14 low-orbit satellites before 2031 to enhance its communication capabilities. It is not difficult to see that low-orbit satellites are crucial to South Korea's development of 6G technology.

As an important part of the development of the communications industry, making a fuss about satellites seems normal, but for South Korea, it was difficult to do before. In the previous decades, the United States imposed strict restrictions on the range and warhead weight of South Korean missiles based on the South Korean-US "Missile Guidelines." Since missiles and rocket technology are interlinked, and South Korea can only use short-range missile technology, South Korea cannot use long-range rocket technology to autonomously launch satellites. When South Korea wanted to launch satellites in the past, it needed to find countries such as Germany to manufacture rocket thrusters, and it had to find overseas partners such as French Guiana to find satellite launch sites. As a result, South Korea launched a small number of low-orbit satellites and limited communication signal coverage. The satellite launch process is slow. However, last month, South Korea and the United States completely abolished the "missile guide." The South Korean government immediately launched an autonomous satellite launch program while claiming to regain its missile sovereignty. It is precisely because of this that the "door" of the key link in South Korea's development of 6G technology seems to be suddenly opened.

In the past, Korean companies were not strong in terms of core communications technology alone. Although the world's first 5G commercial service was launched by South Korea, it was only because the service launched by the communications company was early. In terms of communication equipment, one of the core technologies, Korean companies have a very small global market share.

Surprisingly, although South Korea has been a victim of trade protectionism in recent years, many industries have been negatively affected, but South Korea’s communications technology industry has become a rare exception. At a time when companies engaged in communications technology around the world are fiercely competing, Korean companies have become the party that "sounds fortune". In recent years, the share of Samsung and other Korean companies in the global market has begun to soar, and has gradually formed a tendency to compete with other giants.

Looking at subjective and objective factors, South Korea’s development of 6G technology seems to be getting smoother. And with the great attraction of the fourth industrial revolution and the autonomy of satellite launches, South Korea's development of 6G technology is bound to usher in a process of accumulating and exerting strength. However, it is worth noting that many countries are making efforts in the 6G field, and the complex and changeable international situation is increasingly compressing the development space of South Korea's economy, trade, technology, and diplomacy. It remains to be seen whether South Korea's 6G technology will have an advantage in the global market in the future. 

Source :(Bai Yunfei, a reporter based in Seoul)/

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