South Korea to pour $1.5b into 5G R&D

Dylan Bushell-Embling
23 Jan 2014

The South Korean government will invest around $1.5 billion towards the development of 5G technology by 2020.

The nation's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has been working with SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ as well as Samsung and LG to develop a strategy roadmap involving Korea taking the lead in 5G development, Yonhap Newsreported.

Now the government plans to allocate 1.6 trillion won ($1.49 billion) towards 5G R&D between now and 2020.

The ministry reportedly hopes to be able to conduct the first 5G test run by 2015 and gradually achieve test transmissions with targeted downlink speeds of 1Gbps by 2017.

A wider pilot will be conducted at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, before the technology becomes commercially available at the end of the current decade.

The ministry aims to forge closer ties with authorities in the US, Europe, China and elsewhere to conduct standardization work for the technology.

Taking the lead on 5G development would allow South Korea to earn a projected 331 trillion won between 2020 and 2026 on the sale of 5G devices alone, the ministry estimates.

Samsung announced in May that it had achieved transmission speeds of 1Gbps over millimeter-wave bands, an important early 5G breakthrough.

South Korea isn't the only place where 5G research is being conducted. NSN, Samsung, Qualcomm, Interdigital and other vendors are involved in a 5G research program being led by New York University.

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