KT and Nokia agreed to collaborate on developing advanced Open RAN technology for 6G mobile communications

Korean carrier KT has partnered with Finnish vendor Nokia to carry out research in the 6G field, Korean press reported.  

The two companies agreed to collaborate on developing advanced Open RAN technology for 6G mobile communications and ultra-wideband wireless access technology using candidate frequencies for 6G.

“With the 6G partnership with Nokia, KT looks forward to leading the development of telecommunications technologies directly connected to the next-generation cloud and artificial intelligence,” said Lee Jong-sik, head of KT’s network research center.

The pair also agreed to closely prepare for the 6G era, focusing on discovering future services and innovating infrastructure that can be provided through 6G technology.

KT said that this collaboration with Nokia will secure global leadership in setting standards and commercializing 6G mobile communications.

In November 2023, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT unveiled its KRW440.4 billion ($324.5 million) research and development plan for future 6G networks.

The ministry noted that the plan includes developing technologies related to wireless communications, mobile core networks, 6G wired networks, 6G systems and the standardization of 6G.

The ministry also said it will work to standardize the locally-developed 6G technologies in line with the international standardization requirements, which are expected to start being established as early as next year, the report stated.

South Korea’s 6G plan also involves the development of technologies for the upper-mid band, which covers the frequency range of 7 GHz to 24 GHz, to advance the 5G network service.

The ministry also aims to showcase the intermediate outcome of its 6G network development in 2026 to play a leading role in setting the international standards for the next-generation network service.

In February, the Korean government said it planned to commercialize an initial 6G network service in 2028, two years earlier than its initial schedule.

The government had also announced its K-Network 2030 strategy, with the aim of boosting private-public cooperation to develop 6G technologies, innovate around software-based next-generation mobile networks and strengthen the network supply chain.

The ministry previously launched a feasibility study for research and development on core 6G technologies for a total of KRW 625.3 billion to locally produce materials, components and equipment related to future 6G network.

The standardization process for future 6G systems is in its early stages. At recent plenary session, 3GPP decided to complete the standard specifications for commercial 6G networks and terminals by 2029.

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