It might seem like Samsung is jumping the gun with 6G - but not really.

It might seem like Samsung is jumping the gun on this one… but not really. Source: Shutterstock

Samsung looks to 6G and beyond with blockchain and AI

  • The market-leading Android handset maker is exploring 6G viability, along with blockchain- and AI-driven solutions with partners

5G mobile connectivity promises to be 100 times faster than current 4G speeds, and we are still a couple of years away from widely migrating to 5G networks.

This year, mobile networks have slowed on 5G network rollouts, but that’s not stopping South Korean technology heavyweight Samsung from exploring the next frontier of communication: 6G.

Samsung’s vice chairman Jay Y. Lee, the company’s top leader, publicly disclosed that Samsung execs have been in talks recently to collaborate more closely with platform operators, with 6G mobile networks, blockchain tech, and artificial intelligence (AI) being particular areas of interest for the consumer electronics firm.

Lee’s surprising public statement came before Samsung’s publication of its whitepaper 6G: The Next Hyper-Connected Experience For All which outlines the firm’s commitment to getting a jump start on the upcoming telecommunications megatrend.

“While 5G commercialization is still in its initial stage, it’s never too early to start preparing for 6G because it typically takes around 10 years from the start of research to commercialization of a new generation of communications technology,” explained Sunghyun Choi, head of the Advanced Communications Research Center.

“We’ve already launched the research and development of 6G technologies by building upon the experience and ability we have accumulated from working on multiple generations of communications technology, including 5G. Going forward, we are committed to leading the standardization of 6G in collaboration with various stakeholders across industry, academia, and government fields.”

As the most prolific smartphone and smart device maker on the Android operating system, it’s unsurprising that Samsung is so invested in upcoming telecommunications standards. Its 6G findings are pretty interesting, but it’s Lee’s revelation on pursuing blockchain and AI collaborations with platform operators that were more eye-catching.

Samsung already produces its own smart devices that leverage AI, including its Tizen smart TVs and the Samsung WW9800T washing machine that was released last month. The washer works by using AI and big data to choose the right correct cycle settings for each load.

Meanwhile, among the blockchain developments that Samsung is involved in, its smartphones now have a Blockchain Keystore area. This is a closed-off area on its smartphones, where private blockchain IDs or ‘keys’ can be stored. These keys are not visible to the rest of the Android operating system, making the keys much harder to steal and enhancing the security of blockchain-centric solutions.

Hence the tech allows third parties such as telco operators and software manufacturers to integrate their blockchain-based solutions with the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, and have the functionality accessible from Samsung devices.

For instance, South Korea’s three major carriers SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+, have recently launched a mobile blockchain identity app, “Pass”, that can integrate with the Samsung Blockchain Keystore. The app securely and conveniently verifies the identities on Korean driver’s licenses, as well as recording pertinent information on the blockchain such as legal alcohol consumption age and residency status.

In addition, Samsung is also a member of the Initial DID Alliance which comprises many of the major banks in South Korea including KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, and NH Bank. The alliance plans to extend blockchain-based identity verifications to student IDs and employee IDs next and is planning to release applications this year across the finance, health, and education sectors.