Samsung took a major step towards establishing itself as a contender in the 5G equipment market after winning a contract from Verizon covering fixed-wireless deployments.
The US operator tapped Samsung to deliver commercial 5G home routers, radio frequency planning services and radio access units, including compact base stations and virtualised RAN elements. Together, the pair will launch commercial 5G services in the second half of this year starting in Sacramento, California.
Verizon’s contract is a boost for the South Korea-based company, which is aiming to leverage the shift to the next-generation technology to establish itself as one of the world’s top-three equipment vendors by more than tripling its network equipment sales to over KRW10 trillion ($9.4 billion) by 2022. The US is a key part of Samsung’s plan: not only is the country a front runner in terms of planned 5G network rollouts, but China-based rivals Huawei and ZTE face headwinds in the form of government scrutiny amid security fears.
As part of its Verizon contract, Samsung used in-house technology to develop ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs for the commercial equipment. The company said it will continue to work with Verizon on developing additional 5G use cases.
The deal comes in addition to a previously announced contract between Verizon and Ericsson under which the Sweden-based vendor will provide commercial 5G equipment – including the 5G core, RAN, transport and related services – to the operator.
Both Ericsson and Samsung participated in Verizon’s customer trials of mmWave fixed-wireless 5G in 2017. Samsung provided equipment for Verizon in seven of the 11 cities where testing took place, including locations in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Washington DC.
Verizon executives previously reported those trials revealed mmWave spectrum can deliver gigabit service at a distance of more than 2,500 feet and vertically up to 20 stories. Samsung added the pair was able to provide service in line of sight (LOS), partial LOS and non-LOS conditions without interruptions due to weather like rain or snow.