Extensive Investment: Korea Aims to Take Initiative in 5G | BusinessKorea

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

SK Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Verizon Communications to cooperate for the fifth-generation (5G) network standardization.
SK Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Verizon Communications to cooperate for the fifth-generation (5G) network standardization.
23 January 2014 - 12:13pm

There is intense global competition to take the initiative in 5G networking, which is 100 times faster than 4G LTE. Korea is competing against global contenders to be the one ahead in this field.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) finalized and announced the Creative 5G Mobile Strategy at a third ministerial meeting for economic issues on January 22.

The Korean government organized a 5G forum for public and private enterprises in May 2013. This time, it presented a blueprint for an investment of 1.6 trillion won (US$1.499 billion) in research and development, standardization, and infrastructure related to 5G technology over the next 7 years, through public-private partnerships. 

The government is planning to lead the effort to set a global standard for 5G technology by commercializing 5G mobile communications by 2020. In particular, since the nation is struggling in the field of communications equipment, Seoul intends to revitalize the communications equipment industry by dominating the global 5G phone market. In fact, Korea made up only 4.4% of the global communications equipment market in 2012, while China accounted for 26% in the same year, up 12% from 2007. Even though locally-made 3G communications equipment constituted 90% of the total in 2012, locally-manufactured LTE networking equipment comprised merely 30%. 

MSIP also plans to capture the top spot in the global smartphone market, occupy 20% of the global equipment market by 2020, and create 16,000 jobs. In addition, it aims to turn over 331 trillion won (US$310 billion) from 2020 to 2026 through exports and domestic demand for 5G devices and equipment, and create a local communications service market worth 68 trillion won (US$63 billion). 

Korea is not alone in the effort. Other countries are also engaged in public-private partnership projects to dominate the 5G market. For example, the EU, which is considered to be the first in 5G technology research, formed the 5G Public-Private Partnership Association (5GPPP) at the end of last year to accelerate the development of the fifth-generation networks. Twenty-four mobile carriers joined the association, including Ericsson, Nokia Solutions and Networks, and France Telecom. The EU is also proceeding with the METIS 2020 Project to make a mobile communications system after the year 2020. 

Early last year, China formed the IMT-2020 Promotion Group for 5G technology research. Beijing is planning to continuously increase its investment in developing 5G technology. Huawei, the top-ranked communications equipment supplier, is going to inject at least US$600 million in the development of 5G technology over the five years. 

The US is also spurring the research and development of 5G technology led by private companies such as Qualcomm and ALU. Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, on the other hand, successfully conducted a 10Gbps wireless test by utilizing the 11GHz band with 400MHz of spectrum in February 2013.


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