Industry News : South Korea Approves Funding for 6G Satellite

South Korea Approves Funding for 6G Satellite

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT has approved a preliminary feasibility study aiming at the launch of a 6G satellite in 2030.

According to the body, the project – expected to get started in 2025 – will establish a low-orbit satellite communication system for the period it is active and develop related technologies. The preliminary study projected a total cost of 319.99 billion won (USD 233.4 million) for six years.

The Ministry explained in a press release that the launch will was approved “in order to secure core low-orbit satellite communication technology based on the 6th generation mobile communication (6G) standard.”

Two other initiatives – not related to 6G – were approved at the same time. “We can contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of national strategic technologies through the implementation of the three approved projects,” said Ryu Kwang-Jun, Head of the Science and Technology Innovation Division.

“We plan to provide support so that the projects can begin immediately starting next year,” he added.


Korea Changing Funding Rules

The funding for the satellite launch was announced in late May. Around the same time, the Ministry of Science and ICT approved a change to the funding process.

Until now, large-scale, national projects have been subject to the preliminary feasibility study system, introduced in 1999, to verify prior feasibility before financial investment. The research and development field was included under the preliminary feasibility study rules in 2008.

However, since the approval process could take more than three years, researchers were pushing for a change.

According to the plan, all new projects worth less than 100 billion won (USD 72.6 million) will be promoted through the general budget allocation process. In addition:

  • For simple research equipment introduction projects that do not require separate technology development and have low project management, researchers need to submit a basic business plan.
  • For projects like the construction of large-scale research facilities and system development projects such as satellites, the project needs what the Ministry called a basic plan review and a promotion plan review.

“For the abolition of this R&D preliminary plan to be applied in practice, the National Finance Act must be revised first, so we ask for bipartisan support from the National Assembly so that we do not fall behind in global technology competition,” urged the Minister of Science and ICT Lee Jong Ho.

Image courtesy of Spacex




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