Samsung Partners with NEC and Qualcomm for 5G, Licenses Nokia Patents

Samsung has announced a new 5G partnership agreement with NEC aimed at exploring new business opportunities in the global telecom market.  The two electronics/ network equipment companies will combine their 5G technologies and capabilities to provide mobile operators with 5G solutions that are localized for each region, and include customized services and flexible architectures to meet operators’ varying needs.

Note that there are only five mainstream cellular base station makers- Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE, and Samsung. NEC wants to break in to that elite group.

“5G development based on standardization (IMT 2020???) will help to accelerate business transformation throughout global markets,” NEC EVP and president of networks services Atsuo Kawamura said.

“As 5G commercialization is just around the corner, we are confident that the partnership with Samsung will continue to solidify our stance as a 5G leader.”

“5G will unlock the potentials, create new values and push the limits of today’s technology,” added Samsung president and head of networks Youngky Kim.

“We are excited to announce our joint efforts with NEC to boost 5G end-to-end solution portfolio for the best user experience.”

According to NEC executive vice president Atsuo Kawamura, the partnership with Samsung will ensure the companies remain out in front of 5G end-to-end technology globally.  Kawamura said NEC will also provide NTT DoCoMo with “remote diagnosis and advanced security that combine 5G with the latest ICT”.

Following the standardisation of 5G NR specs in December last year, both NEC Corporation and Samsung had announced the beginning of the full-scale development of 5G NR including large-scale trials and commercial deployment, along with Huawei, Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, AT&T, BT, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, KT Corporation, LG Electronics, LG Uplus, MediaTek, Orange, Qualcomm, SK Telecom, Sony Mobile Communications, Sprint, TIM, Telefonica, Telia Company, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, and ZTE.

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Samsung has already been selected as a vendor for Verizon’s launch of a residential 5G service across parts of Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis, supplying its 5G home and outdoor router, 5G Radio access unit and digital unit, and virtualised radio solutions, as well as supplying 5G-ready solutions for both Sprint and AT&T.

It will also be one of the vendors for SK Telecom’s 5G rollout in South Korea.

NEC, meanwhile, inked a 5G equipment supply deal with Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo in May, with the Japanese telecommunications carrier planning to launch its new mobile network in 2020, after the two undertook verification experiments on 5G wireless technologies earlier this year.

Under the deal, NEC will provide control units for 5G base stations as well as using software upgrades to ensure NTT DoCoMo’s existing base stations and telco equipment are compatible with 5G.

“Currently, high-density base station equipment that NEC began providing in February 2015 is already compatible with the advanced Centralised Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture advocated by DoCoMo, and is now being utilised as a base station control unit,” NEC said.

“Moreover, following a software upgrade, an advance in communications from LTE to LTE-Advanced has been achieved.”

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The NEC partnership follows Samsung announcement earlier this week that it would be partnering with Qualcomm on 5G small cell development to “open the door for massive 5G network speed, capacity, coverage, and ultra-low latency.”

Samsung said it would use Qualcomm’s FSM100xx 10nm small cell product announced in May, which works across both the sub-6GHz and millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum bands.  The products are expected to begin sampling in 2020.

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Separately, Samsung has announced it has extended its agreement to license various Nokia patents for a multi-year period. The existing licensing agreement expires at the end of 2018.

“Samsung is a leader in the smartphone industry and has been a Nokia licensee for many years,” Nokia chief legal officer and Nokia Technologies president Maria Varsellona said.

“We are pleased to have reached agreement to extend our license. This agreement demonstrates the strength of our patent portfolio and our leadership in R&D and licensing for cellular standards including 5G.”

References:

https://news.samsung.com/us/nec-samsung-announce-5g-partnership-agreement/

https://www.zdnet.com/article/samsung-and-nec-announce-5g-partnership/

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