Samsung scored a deal to provide UK operator Virgin Media O2 with network equipment to conduct 4G and 5G trials, as the South Korean vendor pushes further into Europe.
In a statement, Samsung explained it will test the performance of its 4G and 5G network portfolio in the operator’s commercial network, alongside assessing the interoperability of its offerings with Virgin Media O2’s legacy 2G and 3G infrastructure.
Samsung will provide its baseband unit, 5G Massive MIMO and 4G radios covering low- and mid-band spectrum. It claimed the offerings are open RAN compliant and bring improved performance, and enhanced coverage and data speeds.
Woojune Kim, EVP and head of global sales and marketing of Samsung’s Networks Business, stated the trial showcased the company’s readiness to deploy its 5G network portfolio in the UK and to advance the technology “to new levels”.
Samsung is making strides in Europe after breaking out of its home country of South Korea and scoring major 5G commercial network wins in the US with Verizon. It is a primary Open RAN supplier to Vodafone UK and is also working with Vodafone Spain. It has a similar 4G/5G network trial deal with Polish operator Play too.
In alignment with its European ambitions, earlier this year it completed what it touted as the first standalone (SA) 5G trial in the Czech Republic in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom.
Virgin Media O2 wants vendor diversity
Meanwhile Virgin Media O2 CTO Jeanie York described vendor diversity as “crucial” to developing “safe, secure and more efficient networks”.
The trial announcement also got the blessing of Julia Lopez, Minister of State at the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who stated it is “fantastic” to see industry supporting a £250 million government push around 5G innovation, with Virgin Media O2 and Samsung “working together to increase competition, resilience and choice in the 5G supply market”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back