Samsung, KCCS to implement 5G private network at a Japanese manufacturing facility


Samsung will supply the 5G private network with its RAN for mid-band and mmWave spectrum, and cloud-native core

Samsung Electronics and Kyocera Communication Systems (KCCS) are engaging in their first collaborative project to implement a dedicated 5G private network at a Japanese manufacturing facility. The pair will rebuild the facility as a smart factory, and more broadly, hope to create new value and new business opportunities for enterprises through the power of 5G.

“Samsung’s private 5G network portfolio is designed to fit in any deployment scenario for various business purposes and we are excited to work with KCCS as we expand our 5G capabilities in Japan,” said Satoshi Iwao, vice president and head of network division at Samsung Electronics Japan. “In collaboration with KCCS, we expect to prove how 5G can transform businesses and experiences at every level through real-world use cases.”

Specifically, Samsung will supply its 5G solutions, including its RAN for mid-band and mmWave spectrum and its cloud-native core. KCCS will provide mobile devices, applications and on-the-ground technical deployment and operations support.

“Leveraging our leadership in innovation and Samsung’s next-generation 5G technologies, we hope to successfully integrate 5G to our industrial operations and validate its full potential,” said Kenichi Kurosaki, director and general manager of Telecommunications Engineering Division at Kyocera Communication Systems.

At the end of September, Samsung took a step to lower the barrier to entry for deployment of private 5G networks in enterprises in the form of a partnership with Microsoft on an end-to-end, cloud-based private 5G network solution. The two companies plan to advance the virtualization of 5G solutions, which will include the deployment of Samsung’s virtualized RAN, virtualized Core, and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technologies on Microsoft Azure.

Similarly, Samsung has been working with Verizon on in-building 5G mmWave solutions with the hope that these solutions will extend the footprint of Verizon’s 5G network and get one step closer to delivering the power of private networks with MEC.

 

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Ericsson reports strong quarter driven by 5G in China; enterprise strategy developing – RCR Wireless News


Ericsson reported a strong third quarter for 2020, beating analysts’ expectations with adjusted sales up 7% year-over-year and driven mainly by 5G sales in mainland China. The company’s CEO said that the $1.1 billion acquisition of Cradlepoint, which is expected to close in the coming weeks, will be a “key building block” for its strategy to capture new business and revenue from the enterprise space.

On a call with investors, CEO Börje Ekholm said that Ericsson is gaining market share due to its technology investments, and he said that most of the market-share gains “come from non-Chinese competitors. So we’re not winning here due to geopolitical situation.” He also credited Ericsson’s research and development for fueling its strength in the Chinese market.

“It is very important for us and strategically important for us to be in China, and that’s because that’s a global powerhouse for innovation and technological change and driven by many great entrepreneurs,” he said, adding that “5G is being built out very fast in China with good coverage. … Building out 5G will allow Chinese entrepreneurs as well as American and whoever is first on building the network to innovate in this new space.” He went on to add that Europe ought to “take some impressions here from the fast buildout pace we’re seeing in China,” which he said will lead to new companies and an ecosystem developing. “Ror us to be part of seeing the emergence of that ecosystem and realizing what will that drive for feature requirements in the future will be critical,” Ekholm added.

Ericsson reported net sales of about $6.5 billion for the quarter, with net income for the quarter of about $0.64 billion.

Ekholm noted that around 80% of Ericsson’s workforce is working from home due to the global pandemic, and that “Covid-19 has so far had limited impact on our business, but we are closely monitoring any signs of a change in the situation.” He also said that while the pandemic has “hurt revenues for several of our customers, and in some cases this has led to a reduction of capex, we have not seen any negative impact on our business, largely due to footprint gains. However, the pandemic negatively impacted our sales in Latin America and Africa.”

He also added that Ericsson’s recent acquisition of Cradlepoint represents progress in Ericsson’s strategy to build an enterprise business. On the call, Ekholm called the Cradlepoint buy “one key building block for our enterprise ambitions.”

“We see the third quarter as another solid stepping stone, and we are well-positioned now to take the next steps,” Ekholm concluded on the call. He went on to say that Ericsson sees “a clear link between our earnings performance and the financial performance of the company and, actually, our continued investments in R&D towards technology leadership. … Where we see a big opportunity going forward is in the enterprise segment. We think that will help drive the demand for network equipment, and it will drive demand for — or traffic into the operator’s network. That’s going to benefit us, but we also look for stand-alone opportunities in there with good economics like Cradlepoint acquisition that we think is a typical example of the type of use cases that we will focus on that both drive traffic as well as a good stand-alone economics.

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O2 expands 5G network in the UK


 

After kicking off 5G services in large public venues, U.K. operator O2, owned by Spanish telco Telefonica, announced that its 5G network now serves a total of 108 towns and cities across the country.

O2 launched its 5G network in the UK in October 2019. O2’s 5G network was initially available in certain areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds. The carrier said that the initial focus for its 5G network was on highly populated areas including railway stations, shopping centers and sports stadiums.

The carrier is deploying its 5G infrastructure in partnership with Nordic vendors Ericsson and Nokia.

O2 also noted it currently offers 28 5G-enabled devices, including the brand-new Apple iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini will be available next month.

“When we launched 5G last October, we said it was the first step on a journey. One year on and we have made some incredible progress, not just in terms of our roll-out but in bringing about new capabilities that will make real changes to people’s everyday lives,” said Derek McManus, COO at O2. “We firmly believe 5G has a role in helping to rebuild Britain, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society. We’re excited to keep pushing ahead with our rollout along with our partners Ericsson and Nokia, to keep supporting our customers, businesses and society.”

Alongside the consumer rollout, over the last year O2 has continued to work with businesses and consortia to test and build 5G use cases.

O2 is working with Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult to build 5G accelerators in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry. These facilities will comprise of centrally located office and demonstration spaces with access to a private 5G network allowing businesses and public sector organizations to experiment with 5G features that aren’t yet commercially released.

O2 also said that approximately 10,000 LTE-M sites are now live across the country. The new IoT network will cover 57% of premises and 58% of the population, the operator said.

O2’s operations are headed toward a major transition. In May, Liberty Global and Telefonica reached an agreement to merge their U.K. operations in a 50-50 joint venture. This move brings together O2 with cable operator Virgin Media and its MVNO Virgin Mobile.

The combined subscriber base of the two companies, as of the end of 2019, was 46 million, and they would have combined annual revenue of £11 billion (currently $14.4 billion).

Liberty Global and Telefonica previously said that the transaction is expected to close by mid-2021 and is subject to regulatory approvals.

The two firms also said that the JV is expected to generate significant operating benefits, with estimated run-rate cost, capex and revenue synergies of £540 million on an annual basis by the fifth full year post closing. The key expected sources of cost and capex synergies include the use of existing infrastructure to provide services for each entity’s customers at lower cost compared to standalone capabilities and the migration of Virgin Media mobile traffic to Telefonica UK’s network, among others.

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