Wednesday, 27 October 2021 09:58

Samsung and Virgin Media O2 ready to roll up sleeves for 4G & 5G trials

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Samsung Electronics, Woojune Kim Samsung Electronics, Woojune Kim

Samsung Electronics announced that the company will conduct 4G and 5G trials with Virgin Media O2. During the trials, the two companies will verify the capability and performance of Samsung’s 4G and 5G network solutions in Virgin Media O2’s commercial network. The trial will also assess the interoperability between Samsung’s latest solutions and Virgin Media O2’s 2G and 3G legacy networks.

Virgin Media O2, which launched in June 2021, is a joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica in the U.K. The new business has become one of the U.K.’s largest, with 47 million connections across broadband, mobile, TV and home phone, and offers connectivity services, applications and digital solutions to tens of thousands of U.K. businesses and public sector organisations.

For the trial, Samsung says it will provide its solutions which include its baseband unit, 5G Massive MIMO radios, as well as 4G radios on both low-band and mid-band spectrums, while being Open RAN compliant with some configuration changes and additional support in the future.

The company said its latest baseband unit offers improved performance with industry leading capacity and throughput, while supporting both 4G and 5G technologies in a single unit. Moreover, Samsung’s 5G Massive MIMO radios have a slim and lightweight design, which ensures easy and quick installation for operators, as well as increased coverage and data speeds for driving enhanced 5G end-user experiences.

“With this trial, we are excited to join hands with Virgin Media O2 to demonstrate the readiness of our 5G network solutions for deployment in the U.K. and our capabilities in bringing immersive and reliable 4G and 5G mobile experiences to users,” said Samsung Electronics executive vice president head of global sales & marketing networks business Woojune Kim.

“At Samsung, we are continuously enhancing mobile experiences through powerful network solutions that advance and drive 5G to new levels.”

“Vendor diversity is crucial to developing safe, secure, and more efficient networks,” said Virgin Media O2 chief technology officer Jeanie York. “We look forward to undertaking these initial trials with Samsung, which is another milestone in our continued journey to provide the best possible 5G experience for our customers, as well as boosting our 4G network, as we look to upgrade the U.K.”

Julia Lopez, Minister for Media Data and Digital Infrastructure said: “We’re investing £250 million to put the UK at the forefront of 5G innovation so more people and businesses can benefit from improved and secure connectivity. It is fantastic to see industry supporting this push with Virgin Media O2 and Samsung working together to increase competition, resilience and choice in the 5G supply market."

Samsung Networks says it 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 fully virtualised RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 21 October 2021.

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