The Republic of Korea took two bold steps into the future on Tuesday, by announcing that the last of its 2G networks will go offline in June and that it will initiate large-scale adoption of communications protected by quantum encryption.
The two announcements are unrelated.
The quantum tests will build on demos conducted in 2020, but this time South Korea’s government hopes to involve multiple industries and to educate them on the benefits of the tech and how to adopt it.
The aim of the tests is creating an ecosystem of players that eventually translates into wide adoption of quantum crypto for everyday communications among businesses, and a thriving industry.
Another factor in play is that the US President Biden and South Korean President Moon met at a summit last weekend and among the joint initiatives agreed on was developing “a future-oriented partnership by leading innovation” on quantum tech, plus AI, 5G and 6G, open-RAN, and clean energy tech.”
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South Korea’s announcement of its new quantum initiative mentions its desire to collaborate with its ally.
The 2G announcement doesn’t. It instead notes that the last remaining 2G carrier LG Uplus has applied to shut down its networks, that an expert panel doesn’t object, and that if Uplus does the right thing by customers by migrating them to comparably priced plans and helping with device migration, all will be well. ®