Samsung and NEC announce 5G partnership

NEC said it will combine its expertise across IT with Samsung's expertise in 5G technology to expand their portfolios.

Samsung and NEC Corporation have announced a 5G partnership, with the two to work on expanding their suite of technology.

"The partnership brings together the best-in-class technology and expertise in 5G, merging NEC and Samsung's leadership in 5G and IT solutions," the companies said on Wednesday.

"It also provides mobile carriers with flexible 5G solutions that are localised for each region with customised services to meet mobile carriers' demands efficiently."

According to NEC executive vice president Atsuo Kawamura, the partnership with Samsung will ensure the companies remain out in front of 5G end-to-end technology globally.

The NEC partnership follows Samsung earlier this week announcing that it would be partnering with Qualcomm on 5G small cell development to "open the door for massive 5G network speed, capacity, coverage, and ultra-low latency."

Samsung said it would use Qualcomm's FSM100xx 10nm small cell product announced in May, which works across both the sub-6GHz and millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum bands.

The products are expected to begin sampling in 2020.

Samsung has already been selected as a vendor for Verizon's launch of a residential 5G service across parts of Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis, supplying its 5G home and outdoor router, 5G Radio access unit and digital unit, and virtualised radio solutions, as well as supplying 5G-ready solutions for both Sprint and AT&T.

It will also be one of the vendors for SK Telecom's 5G rollout in South Korea.

NEC, meanwhile, inked a 5G equipment supply deal with Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo in May, with the Japanese telecommunications carrier planning to launch its new mobile network in 2020, after the two undertook verification experiments on 5G wireless technologies earlier this year.

Under the deal, NEC will provide control units for 5G base stations as well as using software upgrades to ensure NTT DoCoMo's existing base stations and telco equipment are compatible with 5G.

"Currently, high-density base station equipment that NEC began providing in February 2015 is already compatible with the advanced Centralised Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture advocated by DoCoMo, and is now being utilised as a base station control unit," NEC said.

"Moreover, following a software upgrade, an advance in communications from LTE to LTE-Advanced has been achieved."

According to Kawamura, the company will also provide NTT DoCoMo with "remote diagnosis and advanced security that combine 5G with the latest ICT".

Following the standardisation of 5G NR specs in December last year, both NEC Corporation and Samsung had announced the beginning of the full-scale development of 5G NR including large-scale trials and commercial deployment, along with Huawei, Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, AT&T, BT, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, KT Corporation, LG Electronics, LG Uplus, MediaTek, Orange, Qualcomm, SK Telecom, Sony Mobile Communications, Sprint, TIM, Telefonica, Telia Company, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, and ZTE.

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