Charter Communications selects Nokia AirScale to support 5G connectivity for Spectrum Mobile™ customers
Nokia will deliver its AirScale portfolio, including 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), to support Charter Communications’ 5G rollout in trial markets. It marks Nokia’s first win in the cablecos/MSO space for large-scale wireless 5G deployments. Charter will use Nokia’s 5G RAN solutions to deliver wireless 5G connectivity, faster speeds, and increased network capacity to Spectrum Mobile customers in its trial markets in the United States.
Up until now, cablecos have been MVNO rather than actually deploying their own wireless networks. All of the cable companies in the U.S. with mobile aspirations have had to partner with an existing mobile network operator – Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile – to sell mobile services. And those MVNO partnerships are not cheap. For example, the financial analysts at Wells Fargo estimate that Charter and Comcast pay Verizon $12-$13 per month for each of their mobile customers.
Cable operators have spent more than $1 billion on Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum with the intention to build 5G networks to offload traffic from their leased mobile networks and to deliver the fastest wireless service. Using compact and lightweight small cell products, cable operators can more easily and cost-effectively provide 5G wireless connectivity by leveraging their existing DOCSIS infrastructure without having to build additional cell sites.
With 6 million customer lines as of Q1-2023, Charter’s Spectrum Mobile is the nation’s fastest growing mobile network provider. Charter offers its Spectrum Mobile service through an MVNO deal with Verizon but touts its ability to combine that with its Wi-Fi network. It’s also using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum to offload mobile traffic from the leased network. Charter spent more than $464 million in the CBRS auction in 2020.
As Charter continues to grow its mobile customers, the company needed a 5G wireless connectivity solution to offload traffic from its leased mobile network. Charter will deploy Nokia’s 5G RAN products, including strand mounted radios for CBRS, baseband units, and a newly developed 5G CBRS Strand Mount Small Cells All-in-One portfolio on the company’s assets, which will help Charter continue to deliver mobile traffic in strategic locations across its 41-state footprint while providing customers with the best possible 5G service experience.
Justin Colwell, EVP, Connectivity Technology at Charter Communications, said: “Charter is committed to providing our customers a fully converged connectivity experience that combines high value plans with the fastest wired and wireless speeds throughout our footprint. Incorporating Nokia’s innovative 5G technology into our advanced wireless converged network will help us ensure that Spectrum customers in areas with a high concentration of mobile traffic continue to receive superior mobile connectivity, including the nation’s fastest wireless speeds.”
Shaun McCarthy, President of North America Sales at Nokia, said: “This news builds on our more than 20-year relationship working with Charter to enhance its network. We are excited to expand its current trial to additional select metropolitan markets in the US, enabling an enhanced user experience for Spectrum Mobile subscribers. This win strengthens Nokia’s leadership position in the MSO space for 5G wireless deployments.”
Nokia in the U.S.
Nokia is supplying 5G technologies across its portfolio to the major service providers and leading operators, as well as hyperscalers, enterprises, and government organizations in the US. The company has an unrivaled track record of innovation in the U.S. including Nokia Bell Labs, which pioneered many of the fundamental technologies that are being used to develop 5G and broadband standards. Today, more than 90 percent of the U.S. population is connected by Nokia network solutions.
*Based on year end 2022 subscriber data among top 3 cellular carriers.
Nokia may have competition in the CBRS/MSO space. Samsung will be introducing a new solution within its already existing CBRS portfolio: a new 5G CBRS Strand Small Cell. Designed to be easily deployed on the MSOs aerial strand assets, it enables use of their existing infrastructure, helping them save on deployment costs.
Samsung bets on software centric network architectures supporting virtualized services
Kim Woojune, President and General Manager of Samsung Networks [1.] asserted that software capabilities will change the telecommunications landscape, as the South Korean tech giant bets on virtualized services. Kim said that future networks will be transformed more into software-centric architecture, versus the hardware-based networks the world has built and relied upon for about 150 years.
Note 1. Kim was appointed president and general manager of Samsung’s Networks business in December 2022
“Software has become a key driver of innovation, and this transition to software is also a natural shift in the networks industry,” Kim said in a speech at Nikkei’s Future of Asia forum. “Software brings more flexibility, more creativity and more intelligence,” he added.
Kim said the next transition in the network business has already started, as global telecom operators such as Verizon in the U.S., and KDDI and Rakuten in Japan are building their virtualized networks.
In February, Samsung announced that it was selected by KDDI to provide its cloud-native 5G Standalone (SA) Core network for the operator’s commercial network across Japan. The company said that this will usher in a new generation of services and applications available to KDDI’s consumers and enterprise customers — including smart factories, automated vehicles, cloud-based online gaming and multi-camera live streaming of sports events. Samsung and KDDI also successfully tested network slicing over their 5G SA Core network.
The Samsung executive asked global governments to embrace the shift, saying their role “should be to maximize the benefit of this extra use.”
Samsung is also winning contracts with cable providers, like Comcast, where it’s working to deploy 5G RAN solutions to support its efforts to deliver 5G access to consumers and business customers in the U.S. using CBRS and 600 MHz spectrum, Kim noted. Comcast is the first operator to use Samsung’s new 5G CBRS Strand Small Cell, a compact and lightweight solution designed to be installed on outdoor cables. It consists of a radio, baseband, cable modem and antennas, all in one form factor. The solution is also equipped with Samsung’s in-house designed chipset, a second-generation 5G modem SoC, which delivers increased capacity and performance.
Samsung and KDDI complete SLA network slicing field trial on 5G SA network in Japan
KDDI claims world’s first 5G Standalone (SA) Open RAN site using Samsung vRAN and Fujitsu radio units
Samsung announces 5G NTN modem technology for Exynos chip set; Omnispace and Ligado Networks MoU
Samsung in OpenRAN deal with NTT DOCOMO; unveils 28GHz Radio Unit (RU)
Samsung achieves record speeds over 10km 5G mmWave FWA trial in Australia
Samsung announces 5G NTN modem technology for Exynos chip set; Omnispace and Ligado Networks MoU
Samsung Electronics, a leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that it has secured standardized 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) [1.] modem technology for direct communication between smartphones and satellites, especially in remote areas. Samsung plans to integrate this technology into the company’s Exynos modem solutions, accelerating the commercialization of 5G satellite communications and paving the way for the 6G-driven Internet of Everything (IoE) era. That’s noteworthy considering Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S23, does not use Samsung’s Exynos platform and instead only uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset.
Note 1. There are no ITU or ETSI standards for 5G NTN– only for 5G terrestrial networks. It is not even under consideration for the next revision o the 5G RAN standard– ITU-R M.2150-1.
NTN is a communications technology that uses satellites and other non-terrestrial vehicles to bring connectivity to regions that were previously unreachable by terrestrial networks, whether over mountains, across deserts or in the middle of the ocean. It will also be critical in assuring operability in disaster areas and powering future urban air mobility (UAM) such as unmanned aircraft and flying cars.
“This milestone builds on our rich legacy in wireless communications technologies, following the introduction of the industry’s first commercial 4G LTE modem in 2009 and the industry’s first 5G modem in 2018,” said Min Goo Kim, Executive Vice President of CP (Communication Processor) Development at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung aims to take the lead in advancing hybrid terrestrial-NTN communications ecosystems around the world in preparation for the arrival of 6G.”
By meeting the latest 5G NTN specifications defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP Release 17), [2.] Samsung’s NTN technology will help ensure interoperability and scalability among services offered by global telecom carriers, mobile device makers and chip companies.
Note 2. 3GPP Release 17 contains specs for 5G-NR over Non terrestrial Networks (NTN) and NB-IoT over NTN,
Impacts on 5GC of Satellite NG-RAN used as new RAN 3GPP access
In 3GPP Rel-17, only direct access with transparent satellite is considered, as shown in following figure:
For highly reliable NTN communication with low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, Samsung has developed and simulated 5G NTN standard-based satellite technology using its Exynos Modem 5300 reference platform to accurately predict satellite locations and minimize frequency offsets caused by the Doppler shift. Based on this technology, Samsung’s future Exynos modems will support two-way text messaging as well as high-definition image and video sharing. That would be an important development considering today’s phone-to-satellite services generally support only slow-speed emergency messaging (e.g. Apple iPhone 14). An offering that supports high-bandwidth services like video calling would presumably require far more satellites than today’s services use – and it could also pose a challenge to terrestrial mobile network operators looking to make profits from offering high-bandwidth services in remote or rural areas.
Additionally, Samsung said it plans to secure a standardized NB-IoT NTN technology for use in its next-generation modem platforms. With integrated satellite connectivity, Samsung’s NB-IoT solutions will eliminate the need for a separate high-power wireless antenna chip inside smartphones, providing mobile device makers with much greater design flexibility.
Samsung has not disclosed when the company might begin offering satellite services in its 5G NTN equipped phones, how much the service might cost, and which satellite operators might support the offering.
In a related development, Omnispace and Ligado Networks today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combine their respective spectrum holdings in order to offer “space-based, direct-to-device (D2D) solutions for global voice, text and data connectivity.”
The companies pledged to merge Ligado’s 40MHz of L-band satellite spectrum in the U.S. and Canada with Omnispace’s 60MHz of S-band satellite spectrum. “The combination of L- and S-band spectrum is a unique opportunity to expand the ecosystem of D2D applications and technologies, enhance user experience and extend service globally. For consumer smartphones, the offering will have enough bandwidth to go beyond emergency satellite texting by offering ubiquitous roaming mobile coverage with two-way voice, messaging and data capabilities,” according to the companies’ press release.
However, there are plenty of obstacles to the companies’ ambitions. For example, Ligado has spent years working to free its spectrum of interference concerns, and its financial footing remains a question. “Ligado has no cash and an overwhelming debt load,” tweeted analyst Tim Farrar with TMF Associates following the announcement from Ligado and Omnispace.
Omnispace and Ligado Networks Join Forces to Create Largest Portfolio of Licensed, Satellite Spectrum for Global Direct-to-Device Voice, Text and Data Connectivity
Samsung and KDDI complete SLA network slicing field trial on 5G SA network in Japan
Samsung Electronics and KDDI announced the successful demonstration of Service Level Agreements (SLA) assurance network slicing in a field trial conducted in Tokyo, Japan. For the first time in the industry, the companies proved their capabilities to generate multiple network slices using a RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) on a live commercial 5G Standalone (SA) network. The RIC, provided by Samsung in this field trial, is a software-based component of the Open RAN architecture that optimizes the radio resources of the RAN to improve the overall network quality.
Network slicing (which requires a 5G SA core network) enables multiple virtual networks to be created within a single physical network infrastructure, where each slice is dedicated for a specific application or service — serving different purposes. For instance, 5G SA network operators can create a low latency slice for automated vehicles, an IoT slice for smart factories and a high bandwidth slice for live video streaming — all within the same network. This means that a single 5G SA network can support a broad mix of use cases simultaneously, accelerating the delivery of new services and meeting the tailored demands of various enterprises and consumers.
“Network slicing will help us activate a wide range of services that require high performance and low latency, benefitting both consumers and businesses,” said Toshikazu Yokai, Managing Executive Officer, General Manager of Mobile Network Technical Development Division at KDDI. “Working with Samsung, we continue to deliver the most innovative technologies to enhance customer experiences.”
Through this field trial conducted in Q4 of 2022, KDDI and Samsung proved their capabilities of SLA assurance to generate multiple network slices that meet SLA requirements, guaranteeing specific performance parameters — such as low latency and high throughput — for each application. Samsung also proved the technical feasibility of multiple user equipment (UE)-based network slices with quality assurance using the RIC, which performs advanced control of RAN as defined by the O-RAN Alliance.
“Network slicing will open up countless opportunities, by allowing KDDI to offer tailor-made, high-performance connectivity, along with new capabilities and services, to its customers,” Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “This demonstration is another meaningful step forward in our efforts to advance technological innovation and enrich network services. We’re excited to have accomplished this together with KDDI and look forward to continued collaboration.”
For more than a decade, the two companies have been working together, hitting major 5G networks milestones that include: KDDI’s selection of Samsung as a 5G network solutions provider, end-to-end 5G network slicing demonstration in the lab, 5G network rollout on 700MHz and the deployment of 5G vRAN on KDDI’s commercial network.
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.
Ericsson and Nokia demonstrate 5G Network Slicing on Google Pixel 6 Pro phones running Android 13 mobile OS
Nokia and Safaricom complete Africa’s first Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G network slicing trial
Deutsche Telekom demos end to end network slicing; plans ‘multivendor’ open RAN launch in 2023
Is 5G network slicing dead before arrival? Replaced by private 5G?
Telefonica in 800 Gbps trial and network slicing pilot test
5G Network Slicing Tutorial + Ericsson releases 5G RAN slicing software
Network Slicing and 5G: Why it’s important, ITU-T SG 13 work, related IEEE ComSoc paper abstracts/overviews
Samsung in OpenRAN deal with NTT DOCOMO; unveils 28GHz Radio Unit (RU)
Samsung Electronics announced the company is supplying a variety of 5G radios to support NTT DOCOMO’s Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) expansion. Samsung will now provide a range of Open RAN-compliant 5G radios covering all of the Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum bands held by the operator.
This builds upon the two companies’ 5G agreement previously-announced in March 2021, in which NTT DOCOMO selected Samsung as its 5G network solutions provider. Samsung now adds new radios — including 3.7GHz, 4.5GHz and 28GHz — to its existing 3.4GHz radio support for NTT DOCOMO.
This expanded portfolio from Samsung will enable NTT DOCOMO to leverage its broad range of spectrum across Japan to build a versatile 5G network for diversifying their services offered to consumers and businesses. The companies have also been testing the interoperability of these new radios with basebands from various vendors in NTT DOCOMO’s commercial network environment.
“We have been collaborating with Samsung since the beginning of 5G and through our Open RAN expansion, and we are excited to continue extending our scope of vision together,” said Masafumi Masuda, Vice President and General Manager of the Radio Access Network Development Department at NTT DOCOMO. “Solidifying our global leadership, we will continue to build momentum around our Open RAN innovation and to provide highly scalable and flexible networks to respond quickly to the evolving demands of our customers.”
“Japan is home to one of the world’s most densely populated areas with numerous skyscrapers and complex infrastructure. Samsung’s industry-leading 5G radios portfolio meets the demands of low-footprint, low-weight solutions, while also ensuring reliable service quality,” said Satoshi Iwao, Vice President and Head of Network Division at Samsung Electronics Japan. “As NTT DOCOMO continues to accelerate its Open RAN innovation, we look forward to working together to deliver a richer experience to consumers and generating new business opportunities.”
With this announcement, Samsung introduces its new 28GHz Radio Unit (RU) for the first time — as a new addition to its portfolio of leading mmWave solutions. This RU, which weighs less than 4.5kg (~10lbs), features a light and compact form factor with very low power consumption, enabling flexible deployments in various scenarios. Additionally, Samsung’s 3.4GHz, 3.7GHz and 4.5GHz radios are also Open RAN-compliant and designed to deliver high performance and reliability.
Last month, Samsung won a contract with NTT East to provide cloud-native 5G core and RAN equipment to the provider’s private 5G network platform. That deal followed on an agreement earlier this year for Samsung to power the operator’s private 5G network services in the east areas of Japan, and followed trials of Samsung’s 5G standalone (SA) network core in test environments.
Samsung also secured a deal with Comcast to activate the cable giant’s deep spectrum holdings and become an infrastructure-owning 5G cellular operator targeting market heavyweights Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile US. Comcast will use Samsung’s 5G RAN equipment for its Xfinity Mobile service, including a newly developed 5G Strand Small Cell that is designed to be mounted on Comcast’s existing aerial cable lines. This all-in-one piece of equipment is central to the deployment as it will allow Comcast to mount cellular antennas where it’s already running cable connections for wireless backhaul.
A recent Dell’Oro Group report noted the vendor has been gaining RAN market share at the expense of its China-based rivals Huawei and ZTE outside of their home country. This could accelerate as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules prohibiting domestic telecommunication operators from acquiring and using networking and other equipment from China-based vendors, including Huawei.
“While commercial Open RAN revenues continue to surprise on the upside, the underlying message that we have communicated now for some time now has not changed and remains mixed,” said Stefan Pongratz, Vice President with the Dell’Oro Group. “Early adopters are embracing the movement towards more openness but at the same time, there is more uncertainty when it comes to the early majority operator and the implications for the broader RAN supplier landscape now with non-multi vendor deployments driving a significant portion of the year-to-date Open RAN market,” continued Pongratz.
Additional Open RAN highlights from the Dell’Oro’s 3Q 2022 RAN report:
- Top 4 Open RAN revenue suppliers for the 1Q22-3Q22 period include Samsung, Fujitsu, NEC, and Mavenir.
- Trials are on the rise globally, however, North America and the Asia Pacific regions are still dominating the commercial revenue mix over the 1Q22-3Q22 period, accounting for more than 95 percent of the market.
- More than 80 percent of the year-to-date growth is driven by the North America region, supported by large scale non-Massive MIMO and Massive MIMO macro deployments.
- The rise of Open RAN has so far had a limited impact on the broader RAN (proprietary and Open RAN) market concentration. The data contained in the report suggest that the collective RAN share of the top 5 RAN suppliers (Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE, and Samsung) declined by less than one percentage point between 2021 and 1Q22-3Q22.
- Short-term projections have been revised upward to reflect the higher baseline – Open RAN is now projected to account for 6 to 10 percent of the RAN market in 2023. Open RAN growth rates, however, are expected to decelerate next year, reflecting the likelihood that the sum of new brownfield deployments will be able to offset more challenging comparisons with the early adopters.
Samsung says they have pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.
NTT DOCOMO began commercial 5G services in early 2020, and included open RAN-compliant equipment provided by Fujitsu, NEC, and Nokia. The carrier more recently signed a partnership with South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) to develop new 5G and 6G cellular technologies and deployment plans taking advantage of open and virtualized RAN (vRAN) technology.
NTT DOCOMO is Japan’s leading mobile operator with over 85 million subscriptions, is one of the world’s foremost contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. Beyond core communications services, DOCOMO is challenging new frontiers in collaboration with a growing number of entities (“+d” partners), creating exciting and convenient value-added services that change the way people live and work. Under a medium-term plan toward 2020 and beyond, DOCOMO is pioneering a leading-edge 5G network to facilitate innovative services.
Samsung achieves record speeds over 10km 5G mmWave FWA trial in Australia
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics says it has achieved record-setting average downlink speeds of 1.75 Gbps and uplink speeds of 61.5 Mbps over a 10 km (6.2 miles) 5G mmWave network in a recent field trial conducted with Australia’s NBN Co. As the farthest 28 GHz 5G mmWave Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connection recorded by Samsung, this milestone demonstrates the expanded reach possible with this powerful spectrum, and its ability to efficiently deliver widespread broadband coverage across the country.
To achieve average downlink speeds of 1.75 Gbps at such extended range, the trial by Samsung and NBN utilized eight component carriers (8CC), which is an aggregation of 800MHz of mmWave spectrum. The potential to support large amounts of bandwidth is a key advantage of the mmWave spectrum and Samsung’s beamforming technology enables the aggregation of such large amounts of bandwidth at long distance. At its peak, the company also reached a top downlink speed of 2.7Gbps over a 10km distance from the radio.
“The results of these trials with Samsung are a significant milestone and demonstrate how we are pushing the boundaries of innovation in support of the digital capabilities in Australia,” said Ray Owen, Chief Technology Officer at NBN Co. “As we roll out the next evolution of our network to extend its reach for the benefit of homes and businesses across the country, we are excited to demonstrate the potential for 5G mmWave. nbn will be among the first in the world to deploy 5G mmWave technology at this scale, and achievements like Samsung’s 10km milestone will pave the way for further developments in the ecosystem.”
There’s a total of AUD $750 million investment in the nbn Fixed Wireless network (made up of AUD $480 million from the Australian Government and supported by an additional AUD $270 million from nbn). NBN will use software enhancements and advances in 5G technology, and in particular 5G mmWave technology, to extend the reach of the existing fixed wireless footprint by up to 50 percent and introduce two new wholesale high-speed tiers. The nbn FWA network covers nearly 650,000 premises in the country. The company wants to add at least 120,000 locations in Australia that are currently served by a satellite-based service.
“This new 5G record proves the massive potential of mmWave technology, and its ability to deliver enhanced connectivity and capacity for addressing the last mile challenges in rural areas,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to work with nbn to push the boundaries of 5G technology even further in Australia and tap the power of mmWave for customer benefit.”
As demonstrated in the trials, 5G mmWave spectrum is not only viable for the deployment of high-capacity 5G networks in dense urban areas, but also for wider FWA coverage. Extending the effective range of 5G data signals on mmWave will help address the connectivity gap, providing access to rural and remote areas where fiber cannot reach.
For the trial, Samsung used its 28GHz Compact Macro and third-party 5G mmWave customer premise equipment (CPE). Samsung’s Compact Macro is the industry’s first integrated radio for mmWave spectrum, bringing together a baseband, radio and antenna into a single form factor. This compact and lightweight solution can support all frequencies within the mmWave spectrum, simplifying deployment, and is currently deployed in commercial 5G networks across the globe, including Japan, Korea and the U.S.
Since launching the world’s first 5G mmWave FWA services in 2018 in the U.S., Samsung has been leading the industry, offering an end-to-end portfolio of 5G mmWave solutions — including in-house chipsets and radios — and advancing the 5G mmWave momentum globally.
The nbn® network is Australia’s digital backbone that helps deliver reliable and resilient broadband across a continent spanning more than seven million square kilometers. nbn is committed to responding to the digital connectivity needs of people across Australia, working with industry, governments, regulators and community partners to increase the digital capability of Australia.
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.
Nokia had previously announced it was supplying 5G FWA mmWave CPE equipment for nbn’s efforts that also operates in the 28 GHz band with similar performance characteristics stated by Samsung for its test, including a range of up to 6.2 miles from the transmission tower. However, Samsung said that Nokia’s equipment was not part of its test.
Nokia noted that its CPE includes an antenna installed on the roof of a premises that is linked using a 2.5 Gb/s power over Ethernet (PoE) connection to an indoor unit that powers the on-premises internet connectivity.
- Samsung Electronics Supports NTT East’s Continued Expansion of Private 5G Networks in Japan
- Samsung Electronics Tapped To Support Comcast’s 5G Connectivity Efforts
- Samsung Electronics To Deliver Private 5G Network Solutions to Korea’s Public and Private Sectors
Mobile Experts: Ericsson #1 in RAN market; Huawei falls to #3
According to a new report from analyst firm Mobile Experts, Ericsson leapt into the #1 position in the RAN market for 2021. Ericsson (see Table 1. at bottom of this article), which achieved a 26.9% share of a market that grew by about 3% in value to be worth in the region of $45 billion last year.
Sanctions hit Huawei very hard as the Chinese tech giant dropped to third place in the RAN market in terms of the value of sales with a 20.4% market share. Huawei had a shortfall of roughly $4B last year due to the company’s inability to produce high-capacity TDD base stations. That was because of U.S. Government sanctions on the critical components needed. As a result, Huawei achieved much lower dollar value than their western competitors.
Nokia (21.9% market share) placed third while ZTE achieved fourth place (14.5%) ahead of Samsung (8% market share).
“Our approach to forecasting is deeply analytical, using data from more than 100 sources, rather than simply the inputs of five OEMs. Our approach works. This analyst team has been creating some of the most accurate, detailed forecasting on the market for over a decade,” commented Chief Analyst of Mobile Experts, Joe Madden. “We have developed relationships with suppliers, operators, and vendors that give us data for a three-pronged approach to triangulation on mobile infrastructure revenue.”
Mobile Experts’ models show the RAN market growing at a CAGR (Cumulative Annualized Growth Rate) of 3%, with -1% growth in macro base stations and 25%-35% growth in millimeter wave and software segments. The analyst firm, known for their unmatched accuracy, leverage over a decade of ear-to-ground experience in this market to present this detailed market forecast that presents last year’s findings concisely and completely as well as presenting what’s next for the RAN market and its players.
“Overall, the RAN market is looking up. After 30 years of boom-and-bust cycles, the market is currently reaching a peak with 5G deployment in its active mode this year. In coming years, we see new revenue coming in from private enterprises to offset the natural drop in CSP sales; specifically, the private LTE/5G market will grow by 19%, accounting for more than $4 billion in 2026. As a result, the total RAN market will remain near its 5G peak for a few years, with the possibility for growth in the longer term,” commented Chief Analyst Joe Madden.
Total Year Review for 2021 – Global RAN Revenue:
This pre-earnings report offers a comprehensive overview of the RAN market with Mobile Experts’ signature accuracy and detailed breakdowns. This quarter’s report includes revenue estimates for the top 25 vendors in the RAN market for 2021. This is the first of a series of quarterly updates, and it is available today for instant download with purchase at www.mobile-experts.net.
For more about this research and buy the report, click here.
About Mobile Experts Inc.:
Mobile Experts provides insightful market analysis for the mobile infrastructure and mobile handset markets. Our analysts are true Experts, who remain focused on topics where each analyst has 25 years of experience or more. Research topics center on technology introduction for radio frequency (RF) and communications innovation. Recent publications include: RAN Revenue, Cellular V2X, Fixed Mobile Convergence, Edge Computing, In-Building Wireless, CIoT, URLLC, Macro Base Station Transceivers, Small Cells, VRAN, and Private LTE.
Table 1: Ericsson’s headline figures (Swedish Krona-SEK billions)
|Research and development expenses||-42.1||-39.7||–|
|Selling and administrative expenses||-27.0||-26.7||–|
|Impairment losses on trade receivables||0.0||0.1||-134%|
|Other operating income and expenses||0.4||0.7||-45%|
|Share in earnings of JV and associated companies||-0.3||-0.3||–|
|– of which networks||37.3||30.9||21%|
|– of which digital services||-3.6||-2.2||–|
|– of which managed services||1.5||1.6||-6%|
|– of which emerging business and other||-3.4||-2.4||–|
|Financial income and expenses, net||-2.5||-0.6||–|
Samsung partners with Orange to deliver 5G vRAN and O-RAN compliant base stations
Samsung Electronics has announced that it is collaborating with the France headquartered telecom operator Orange, to disaggregate the software and hardware elements of traditional RAN. The South Korea based tech giant will provide its virtualized RAN (vRAN), “which has been proven in the field through commercial deployments with global Tier one operators including the U.S.”
As one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, Orange provides mobile services to 222 million users in 26 countries along with Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Through this partnership, Samsung and Orange aim to deploy O-RAN Alliance-compliant base stations beginning with rural and indoor configurations and then, expanding to new deployments in the future.
“Open RAN is a major evolution of radio access that requires deeper cooperation within the industry. With our European peers, we want to accelerate the development of Open RAN solutions that meet our needs. After the publication of common specifications, Orange’s Open RAN Integration Center will support the development and tuning of solutions from a broad variety of actors,” said Arnaud Vamparys, Senior Vice President of Radio Access Networks and Microwaves at Orange.
Samsung’s vRAN solutions can help ensure more network flexibility, greater scalability and resource efficiency for network operation by replacing dedicated baseband hardware with software elements. Additionally, Samsung’s vRAN supports both low and mid-band spectrums, as well as indoor and outdoor solutions. Samsung is the only major network vendor that has conducted vRAN commercial deployments with Tier one operators in North America, Europe and Asia.
“We are pleased to participate in Orange’s innovative laboratory,” said Woojune Kim, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Through this collaboration, we look forward to taking networks to new heights in the European market, enabling operators to offer more immersive mobile services to their users.”
By opening its Open RAN Integration Center in Châtillon, near Paris, Orange will enable the testing and deployment of networks capable of operating with innovative technologies, which will serve as the backbone of the operator’s future networks. At the center, Samsung and Orange will conduct trials to verify capabilities and performance of Samsung’s vRAN, radio and Massive MIMO radio.
With a vRAN approach, carriers are able to rapidly shift capacity to address customer needs. For business customers, vRAN can drive more efficient access to private 5G networks through easy deployment of baseband software in Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) facilities.
“We are committed to providing reliable, secure, and flexible network solutions that deliver the power of 5G around the world,” said Magnus Ojert, Vice President, Networks Division, Samsung Electronics America. “We believe vRAN’s next phase of innovation will accelerate what’s possible for society and look forward to collaborating with an industry-leader like Verizon to make 5G a reality for millions in 2021.”
Samsung says they have “pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end infrastructure solutions including chipsets, radios and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.”
Samsung’s 5G vRAN adoption could be a key turning point for the industry
Samsung and Ciena partner to deliver pre-validated implementations of 5G networks
At 2021 MWC LA, Samsung Electronics and Ciena announced that they are collaborating to deliver 5G solutions (?) by coupling Samsung’s 5G RAN and core network with Ciena’s xHaul routing and switching portfolio. The collaboration will enable the companies to offer hardware and software solutions to telecom operators to support the increasing volume of 5G data traffic at the edge and within an increasingly distributed 5G architecture.
Rafael Francis, senior director of solutions architecture at Ciena, sited the blurring between the RAN, transport and core network as motivation for the partnership with Samsung.
Image Courtesy of ACG Research
“The domains of RAN, transport and core are becoming more tied in the sense as operators roll out 5G with new architectures and approaches, like virtualized RAN (vRAN) or cloud RAN (cRAN),” Francis told RCR Wireless News. “Effectively, the network becomes an integral part of that because you not only have backhaul networks, but you have fronthaul and mid-haul networks, and these things all need to interoperate.”
5G xHaul transport needs a solution-level approach that includes both a feature-rich box and a well-integrated automation and orchestration platform. Ciena provides a complete yet open solution with its innovative Adaptive IPTM portfolio, which is well integrated with its Blue Planet Automation software. The company has simplified the 5G xHaul transport with a lean and open set of IP protocols driven by analytics focused, multidomain and multivendor closed-loop orchestration layer.
Alok Shah, Samsung’s VP of strategy, business development and marketing for the company’s networks business, agreed with Francis, adding, “Networks used to be a lot easier to understand. The RAN and the core were well defined, and the transport was backhaul for the cell sites.”
Now, though, in the world of vRAN and cRAN, the backhaul is only one means of transport. There is also fronthaul and mid-haul and, according to Shah, each one has a different level of performance requirement; when it comes to the fronthaul, in particular, the link between fronthaul and the RAN equipment has to be “really tight.”
“Because, you want to make sure that if you’re running 25 Gbps from your radio back to baseband unit, you want to make sure you’re getting the full performance out of that link,” Shah added.
Further, the combined offering will help operators accelerate critical 5G capabilities such as network slicing (requires 5G SA Core network), which Francis singled out a perfect example of why coordination across network domains has become more critical in a 5G era.
“Concepts and capabilities brought by 5G such as network slicing that can be used to drive new revenues and services for MNOs (mobile network operators) must be well coordinated across RAN, transport and core to really have the correct impact like ensuring SLAs and partitioning resources,” Shah said.
Wonil Roh, SVP and head of product strategy for Samsung Electronics’ network business said, “In order to deliver more powerful 5G services, the current network architecture needs to evolve. Samsung’s ability to couple our best-in-class 5G solutions with a leader in transport technologies like Ciena will give customers a solution to address this need, and do so with the confidence to scale and evolve their networks to support the future of 5G.”
Dell’Oro Group VP Stefan Pongratz noted that the two vendors have no material overlap. “Ciena’s telecom equipment revenues are primarily driven by its optical transport and SP switch portfolio while Samsung focuses on the RAN and mobile core markets,” he said. Stefan added that “as the backhaul becomes fronthaul, the transport requirements will change, which could impact the value of pre-integrated solutions.”
Samsung, Ciena partner to address ‘blurring between RAN, transport and core’
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Samsung vRAN to power KDDI 5G network in Japan
Samsung will deploy its cloud-native, fully virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) in KDDI’s 5G network, following the successful completion of a 5G Standalone (SA) call using Samsung’s vRAN and another vendor’s 5G Massive MIMO radios. Among other capabilities, virtualized networks will enable 5G network slicing. Samsung and KDDI will begin trials in Q1 of 2022, and start commercial deployment in the second half of 2022.
“We are delighted to extend our collaboration with Samsung and to become the first operator in Japan to use their 5G vRAN solutions, which are currently delivering superior performance in commercial networks,” said Kazuyuki Yoshimura, Chief Technology Officer of KDDI. “We believe in the power of virtualization, and this collaboration serves as a meaningful catalyst for driving the next phase of 5G innovation, and advancing our networks to offer best-in-class 5G services.”
With its latest 5G vRAN technology, Samsung brings a range of improvements to KDDI’s network. By replacing dedicated baseband hardware with software elements, vRAN offers more deployment flexibility, greater scalability and improved resource efficiency in network operation. With its cloud-native, container-based architecture, Samsung’s vRAN also simplifies end-to-end network management through automation, allowing operators to quickly introduce new services with minimal impact on deployment.
“With commercially-proven performance and reliability, our vRAN is an attractive technology option for operators — from both the deployment and operational perspectives,” said Woojune Kim, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics.
“We are excited to mark another milestone with KDDI, following previous network collaborations that include the commercialization of 5G in 2020, and the rollout of 700MHz 5G in 2021. We look forward to our ongoing work with KDDI to bring new 5G innovations to their customers.”
Virtualized networks will play a key role in supporting KDDI’s pursuit of new 5G use cases and next-generation capabilities. Last year, Samsung and KDDI demonstrated how 5G end-to-end network slicing could play a key role for mobile operators by enabling the creation of multiple virtual networks within a single physical network infrastructure.
Samsung has been at the forefront of vRAN leadership around the world, unveiling its fully virtualized 5G RAN in 2020, followed by successful commercialization with a Tier 1 operator in the U.S. In June 2021, the company was selected by a major European operator to bring vRAN to the U.K.
Samsung recently demonstrated its vRAN capability to support Massive MIMO radios on mid-band, reaching multi-gigabit speeds. The company also teamed with a Tier 1 U.S. operator to complete an end-to-end 5G vRAN trial over C-Band in a live network environment, demonstrating vRAN performance equal to that of traditional hardware-based equipment.