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South Korea's 6G satellite communication ambitions in defense collaboration

Yu-Chun Lin, Taipei; Vyra Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Space is rapidly evolving into a military frontier, and South Korea is making significant strides in this domain. According to reports from South Korean media outlet Heraldcorp, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has announced a collaboration with the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) to boost the development of 6G satellite communication technology.

This partnership aims to advance various projects, including developing CubeSats, Project 425, the Korean Positioning System (KPS), and low Earth orbit(LEO) satellite communication. The ultimate goal is to dominate the domestic market and make a mark on the international stage.

In June 2023, the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) finalized the framework for IMT-2030, envisioning the rollout of 6G services in the 2030s. South Korea is driving the concept of ubiquitous connectivity, where every corner of the Earth, including the sky, is covered by the service.

Collaboration between ground-based and satellite communication is deemed crucial to expand future services. LEO satellite communication, seen as the linchpin of 6G communication services, can overcome temporal and spatial limitations. This technology finds applications in diverse areas such as defence communication, urban air mobility (UAM), in-flight networks, maritime communication for vessels, and more, promising innovative solutions for South Korea.

ADD emphasizes the ongoing development of CubeSats and LEO satellite constellations, underscoring the importance of this collaboration with ETRI. This collaboration, bridging the private and military sectors, aims to develop mutually beneficial models to enhance the country's competitiveness in space technology and bolster its defence capabilities.

ETRI stresses that the integration of ground and satellite services will become increasingly prevalent in 6G communication. They plan to develop various services to ensure emergency preparedness, with LEO satellites offering multiple applications.