South Korea said Wednesday it will invest 220 billion won (US$195 million) to develop and standardize sixth generation (6G) network technology by 2025 and conduct joint research with the United States to strengthen competitiveness in the global race for the future technology.
The network technology, which is expected to reach theoretical speeds up to 50 times faster than 5G and have a tenth of its latency, is currently in early stages of development, with commercialization expected as early as 2028.
The Ministry of Science and ICT said it has earmarked around 200 billion won until 2025 to develop core 6G technology, such as integrating satellite networks and terrestrial networks to power telecommunications for future flying vehicles and drones, as well as in disaster situations.
The country has already set out a plan to launch 14 low Earth orbit satellites by 2031 to test the technology.
South Korea's Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States' National Science Foundation to conduct joint research in 6G technologies.
The joint research agreement comes after a summit between the two countries last month that agreed to strengthen cooperation in emerging technologies, including 6G.
The ministry said it is also pursuing research in the sector with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology and Finland's University of Oulu.
The investment is the latest in South Korea's efforts to maintain its edge in telecommunications technology after becoming the first country in the world to commercialize 5G networks in April 2019.