Samsung acquires network services provider TWS; SK-Telecom launches Global MEC Task Force

1.  Samsung Acquires Network Services Provider TeleWorld Solutions to Accelerate U.S. 5G Network Expansion

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the completion of an agreement to acquire TeleWorld Solutions (TWS), a network services provider headquartered in Chantilly, VA.

Teleworld Logo

TWS provides network design, testing and optimization services to mobile service and cable operators, equipment OEMs and other companies across the U.S. With network builds associated with 5G and 4G LTE enhancements advancing in the U.S, the acquisition will address the need for end-to-end support in delivering network solutions.

TWS, a privately owned company, will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The service offerings and customers of TWS complement Samsung’s growth among networks infrastructure clients. With competencies in radio frequency (RF) and network design service—as well as installation, testing, and optimization services—TWS will continue to serve its existing customers and clients they currently support with Samsung. The TWS leadership team will continue to manage the business and, together with Samsung, address the network upgrade cycle occurring in the US.

With a growing position in the US networks industry, along with its 5G technology leadership, Samsung Networks has collaborated with major U.S. network operators to fulfill 5G’s network expansion. As its growth continues through network operator agreements and enterprises seeking their own cellular networks, the combination of Samsung and TWS will help customers address next-generation demands.


2.   SK Telecom Joins Forces with Bridge Alliance Members for Cooperation in 5G MEC

SK Telecom today announced the launch of the ‘Global MEC Task Force’ with Bridge Alliance member operators, including Singtel, Globe, Taiwan Mobile and PCCW Global, for cooperation in 5G mobile edge computing (MEC).

SK Telecom will share its lessons-learned in 5G and MEC areas with other members that are preparing to launch 5G, while making joint efforts for the development of MEC technologies and services. The company will also play a leading role in setting international MEC standards to build an interoperable MEC platform.

MEC is being highlighted as a key technology that can improve the performance of ultra-low latency services such as cloud gaming, smart factory and autonomous driving by creating a shortcut for mobile data communications.

Through the task force, SK Telecom expects to lead the expansion of the 5G MEC ecosystem to the Asian countries, and develop valuable overseas market opportunities for its 5G technologies/services including MEC.

As the first chair of the task force, SK Telecom will be hosting the first MEC workshop with Bridge Alliance from January 13 to 15 at its headquarters located in Seoul, Korea. The workshop will identify potential regional MEC-based use cases, and discuss business models and commercialization plans.

The company will introduce its 5G strategies, 5G MEC-based use cases including smart factory, and 5G clusters including ‘LoL Park.’

“As the global 5G pioneer, SK Telecom is committed to contribute to the expansion of the global 5G ecosystem,” said Lee Kang-won, Vice President and Head of Cloud Labs of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will work closely with Bridge Alliance Member Operators to help accelerate their progress in 5G and MEC, and create a pan-Asian 5G MEC ecosystem.”

“As the role of telecommunications companies is expanding beyond simply providing mobile connectivity to offering new values based on infrastructure, Bridge Alliance believes that this cooperation will serve as a key driver for realizing win-win business opportunities to all members,” said Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance.Photo: (from left) Ha Min-yong, VP and Head of Global Alliance Group, SK Telecom, Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance, and Lee Kang-won, VP and Head of Cloud Labs, SK Telecom.

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One thought on “Samsung acquires network services provider TWS; SK-Telecom launches Global MEC Task Force

  1. Samsung’s TeleWorld Acquisition Signals Broader US Ambitions

    Samsung this week announced the purchase of TeleWorld Solutions (TWS), which is based in Chantilly, Virginia, and provides many of the logistical and physical services, such as site acquisition and RF testing, involved in-building wireless networks.

    The move, according to analysts, is geared toward re-igniting Samsung’s sales of networking equipment in the US market, potentially through deals with some of the industry’s smaller players.

    “I think it [the acquisition] is needed as Samsung expands operations in North America and starts targeting smaller operators like the one they recently announced in Canada,” noted Daryl Schoolar, an analyst with research and consulting firm Ovum (which is owned by Light Reading’s parent company). Samsung, just a few weeks ago, announced it would supply 4G and 5G equipment to Canada’s Videotron. “Those operators do not have the in-house network planning and building resources Tier 1 operators possess. This puts more of the work back on the vendor to support those network builds.”

    Analyst Stefan Pongratz, from research and consulting firm Dell’Oro Group, noted that Samsung’s market share in North American mobile infrastructure grew roughly five percentage points between 2016 and 2018, with Samsung accounting for up to 10% of the market by the end of 2018. However, he noted the firm’s growth had shown some signs of slowing in recent months.

    An up and comer in 5G
    Samsung has enjoyed some significant wins in the US market in recent years, having inked 5G equipment supply agreements with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. That’s noteworthy considering Ericsson and Nokia have long enjoyed a virtual stranglehold on the US market given the US government’s tacit ban on operator deals with China’s Huawei (the world’s biggest supplier of wireless gear).

    Samsung’s successes in the US market are partly due to the company’s willingness to embrace operator initiatives like open RAN technology, explained Samsung’s Derek Johnston in comments at a recent trade show. For example, the company was a part of AT&T’s recent test of eCPRI technology, which represents an important step along the open RAN road. Open RAN and eCPRI promise to allow operators to mix and match different products from different vendors, rather than having to purchase a full stack of networking equipment from one vendor like Ericsson.

    Johnston said Samsung views open RAN as an opening door for newer vendors.

    Ovum’s Schoolar also pointed out that Samsung has been able to leverage its massive R&D budget — which spans everything from smartphones to home appliances — as well as its sprawling chipset business to expand sales of its wireless networking equipment worldwide, including to some of the top carriers in India, South Korea and elsewhere. Schoolar added that Samsung’s global revenues in wireless networking grew more in 2018 than they did at other big suppliers like Huawei and Ericsson.

    A TeleWorld move
    So what is Samsung getting with TeleWorld? The company declined to provide many details about its purchase of the company, including how much it paid for TeleWorld.

    Samsung did say though that it is acquiring “hundreds of professionals with various competencies” via the action, including CEO Shervin Gerami. Gerami will report to the general manager of Samsung’s US networks business, Mark Louison. While Samsung did not provide an exact headcount for TeleWorld, LinkedIn counts 167 employees at the company.

    “The combination of Samsung and TeleWorld Solutions was done to improve our ability to address the growing demand in North America associated with on-going 4G LTE upgrades, initiatives like open RAN and 5G network deployments that are driving the need for services,” Samsung wrote in response to questions from Light Reading. “While Samsung has a services business, TWS provides us with additional highly-skilled network professionals across network design, installation, testing and optimization. The TWS team will help us to address the demand from not only our expanding business with existing customers but also our new business customers in North America and additional joint opportunities.”

    — Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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