SK Telecom (SKT) has announced the release of its 6G White Paper, which shows the key requirements for 6G standardization and the direction of future network evolution.

In June 2023, as part of the standardization process’s early stages, the International Telecommunication Union-Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Working Party (WP) 5D published the Framework Recommendation of the 6G Network, which is forecasted to be commercialized around 2030.

The first discussion on 6G candidate frequencies is scheduled to take place at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) at the end of this year, and WP 5D is expected to begin working on the technical performance requirements of 6G in 2024.

In order to contribute to the standardization of 6G, SKT published a white paper that includes its views on 6G key requirements and 6G evolution methodology, together with its opinions on the latest trends in frequency standardization.

The paper also provides analysis, development directions and methodologies pertaining to promising 6G use cases, technology trends and candidate frequencies.

Leveraging its experience in the world’s first commercialization and operation of 5G, SKT suggests several 6G key requirements to realize expected usage scenarios and services in the 6G era. These requirements include powerful products and services, simple architecture options, expanded coverage technologies and device heat and power consumption reduction technologies to improve the user experience.

Moreover, with the commercialization of 6G, SKT believed that megatrends like AI, power savings and quantum security would spread across all network areas. Technologies specialized for various network areas, such as radio access, core, transport and aerial networks, will be applied and evolved.

In addition to the publication of the 6G White Paper, SKT is actively working on leading the early 6G standardization and technology ecosystem through collaboration with diverse overseas partners. SKT has partnered with NTT DOCOMO on two white papers, one on green mobile networks and the other on requirements for future 6G networks.

SKT has been participating in global organizations and initiatives, including the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance and the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN). The company also engages in research and development partnerships, having close discussions with equipment manufacturers and IT companies about 6G candidate technologies, including AI-based base stations.

“In collaboration with many global telcos, we are making proactive efforts to lead the 6G standardization and technology ecosystem,” noted Vice President and Head of the Infra Tech Office of SKT, Yu Takki. “By further expanding our partnerships with global telcos and manufacturers and leveraging our technological know-how and experience in 5G, we will not only lead the advancement of 5G network technologies but also pioneer the development of 6G technologies.”

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