Samsung has secured a major 5G contract with US operator Verizon in a partnership that could shake up the global telecoms equipment market.
The Korean electronics giant has spent much of the past decade as the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer and is a major supplier of components to the industry. However expansion has proved difficult due to market saturation, a lack of new markets to target, and longer refresh cycles.
This has led to the ambition to come a significant player elsewhere in the ecosystem, specifically telecoms equipment.
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Samsung 5G Verizon
Samsung’s presence is limited at present, but it hopes to expand its share in the 5G era. There is strong demand in its native South Korea and US and other countries where Huawei has been excluded for the market could provide more opportunities.
The size of the deal with Verizon is a big step forward in that regard. Reports suggest the contract is worth 7.9 trillion won ($6.6 billion) and lasts for five years. The revenues will not only provide a boost to Samsung’s networking business but increase its profile and install confidence in other operators around the world.
“We are pleased to expand our long-standing partnership with Verizon to advance their next-generation network evolution," a Samsung spokesperson told TechRadar Pro. "With this latest long-term strategic contract, we will continue to push the boundaries of 5G innovation to enhance mobile experiences for Verizon’s customers
"We’re excited to continue delivering on breakthrough network technologies that will expand what’s possible through 5G.”
The ban on Huawei kit in certain countries is a boost to Huawei’s rivals Ericsson and Nokia but there is hope that other firms – such as Samsung – will ensure the continuation of a diverse supplier pool that drives competition.
Samsung told MPs in the UK in July that Samsung could “definitely” step in to help UK operators while the government is also courting Japanese vendor NEC.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.