South Korea is known for many things. Great food, beautiful scenery and BTS, just to name a few things. But Korea is also known to have one of, if not the fastest and most reliable internet systems in the world. I can personally vouch for this as the slowest internet I remember having on my phone in Korea back in 2019 was about 30 Mbps. While traveling underground on the subway, I would get speeds of around 120 Mbps. All of this while using my Google Fi sim card and “roaming” in Korea on a 4G network. (As I am write this article, I am in the U.S. and my internet speed from my cell phone, off of Wi-Fi and using the same sim card is around 12 Mbps.) Since Korea usually has fast and stable internet, some will start to wonder how 6G internet will impact Korea. That may seem like a strange thing to ask given that 5G hasn’t been fully rolled out yet. So for now, let’s look at what terms like 4G, 5G and 6G mean, and then we’ll look at how this could impact Korea.
What Does 4G, 5G and 6G Even Mean?
The simple answer to this question is that this represents the Generation of internet that is available to the user. So going forward, phones will be compatible with both the 4th generation and 5th generation of internet. A new generation of internet usually becomes available every 10 years or so and is suppose to make the internet faster and cheaper to run, as well as providing an overall more reliable internet experience. (This will depend on the internet service provider, ISP, and what consumers demand. Many who travel internationally have complained that the internet in the United States is slower and more expensive than it is in other countries due to what U.S. based ISPs are able to charge and the fact that some feel the average U.S consumer isn’t aware of what internet speeds and rates are in other countries.)
When this article refers to 6G, it means the 6th or next generation of internet. As a newer generation of internet becomes available, an older generation of internet gets phased out. At this time, the generation of internet that is being phased out is the 3rd generation, or 3G internet. Phones that depend on this generation of internet will not be able to give out a signal and will only be usable via Wi-Fi, if they can be used at all. That bring us to the first way that 6G will impact Korea.
Changing Electronics Industry
While many in North America may think that Apple is the global smartphone king and that Korea’s most popular export is BTS, (Well, maybe it is BTS at this point.) Samsung is actually the global smartphone king. And some are shocked when they find out that LG is also a Korean company. Both companies has a loyal following and make a wide range of mobile products. But beyond this, both companies make a wide range of products that are in millions of homes world wide.
Even the biggest fans of Apple and iOS may have a television, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and/or dryer in their home. As the internet becomes faster and more reliable, more and more people will want to be able to control things in their homes remotely. With both Samsung and LG making a wide variety of products, they will be able to test out how much a person can do and control from their smartphone, smartwatch or tablet with their own equipment. With Apple not offering this many products, and using a different operating system in iOS, both Samsung and LG could offer a total home ecosystem that can help to increase their global market share. If they will or not remains to be seen. But an increase in demand for the products that these Korean companies produce will have a very positive impact on Korea’s economic future.
Did you know: Samsung actually makes cars? Samsung Motors was established back in 1995 and started delivering cars back in 1998. To read a press release about this click here. This actually takes us to the other way 6G could impact Korea.
Traveling in Korea
Seoul is known for having one of the best public transportation systems in the world. In fact, I was able to get anywhere I needed to in Seoul by using the bus and subway systems. With that being said, a lot of Korean people do own cars, even in the Seoul metropolitan area. So what does this has to do with 6G internet? Well, one of the biggest reasons for 6G internet is to be able to handle all of the electronic cars that need internet for things like GPS to assist with full self driving cars. For a video of a beta car that Tesla has to do this, click here.
Electronic cars and buses are very important to Korea as they help to cut down on the air pollution that sometimes plagues Korea’s air. By having 6G internet, not only can Korea handle the increase data consumption from electronic vehicles, but it can warn vehicles of upcoming accidents and other issues that will hopefully help to reduce or eliminate traffic issues. If this is possible, the impact on Korea for times like Chuseok would be priceless. This impact could not only possibly save time, but it could also possibly save lives as well. A cleaner, faster and safer Korea is a win win for everyone.
It’s clear that 6G is something that is not here as of the writing of this article. But 6G brings possibilities that Korea has dreamt about for many years. Korea will be a big winner when the possibilities stated above about 6G internet become a reality. And with the current infrastructure that is already in place, the adjustment to 6G for Korea should be seamless. As we march closer to 6G becoming a reality, many more pros and cons to the new technology will become apparent. The bottom line is that 6G is coming; but we must get through 5G first.