It’s the beginning of 2024, and we got a media alert last week informing 6GWorld that Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited Samsung Research in Seoul, South Korea. He made the trip to “check the trends and countermeasures of next-generation communication technology, including 6G.”
No official announcement was made, no plans were released. At the end of the day there was no news, really.
Except that, the news may be less about Samsung and more about the trends.
Samsung has been actively researching 6G for some years. The South Korean company published a 6G vision in 2020 and held a 6G virtual event in 2022. As the manufacturer said in the press release, the visit to the R&D centre was the chairman’s first move of the year.
“Our survival and future depend on securing new technologies. The more difficult times, the more preemptive R&D and unwavering investment are needed. Let’s challenge more boldly and more fiercely,” he said.
Samsung is one among various to sign up for the challenge. In fact, South Korean companies have been working seriously in 6G – the latest public investments in technology development and SK Telecom’s achievements are some examples.
But there is competition. Global competition.
In mid-December, Microsoft applied to investigate sub-Terahertz communications in the United States under the FCC’s Spectrum Horizons. The request is pending approval but indicates the direction the big tech is heading.
These recent moves only add to other curious changes. The upcoming MWC 24, in February, now has an event theme called 5G and Beyond. Even though the word “6G” is missing there, that is the first time GSMA cites the next generation of mobile internet in such a way.
It is important to notice, however, that last year’s edition featured sessions about 6G and spectrum. They were not under a tag of their own, though.
Other new initiatives are popping up. Indian ET Telecom has altered one of its events to “5G/6G Congress,” showing that India is coming in strong to claim a spot among the 6G leaders. And the 6GSymposium Spring is going to Finland, home of the first 6G white paper.
With more and more action happening worldwide, it will be interesting to see where the industry ends up by the end of the year. With the ITU standardisation process kicked off, 2024 promises us a good amount of entertainment.
Journalist since eight years old, when I would read the newspaper out loud and pretend it was a radio show. Based in São Paulo, I have worked for Brazilian websites as reporter and editor before joining 6GWorld