​Samsung to invest $22 billion in 5G and AI

5G will unlock the potential of artificial intelligence, Samsung's network boss says, and the South Korean tech giant will invest $22 billion in the next-generation network to secure 20 percent market share by 2020.

Samsung Electronics will invest $22 billion in 5G networking and AI going forward to secure a "minimum" of 20 percent market share in network equipment by 2020, the company's network boss has said.

Youngky Kim, president and head of Samsung's network business, speaking at WSJ D.Live in California, told a panel that the next-generation network will unlock the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), describing 5G as "oxygen" for AI.

"AI needs a lot of data to respond to you," Kim said. "This amount of data can be provided by 5G, not 4G."

Samsung produces half a billion electronic devices yearly, and this will provide it with international experience of what humans want, he said. The South Korean tech giant is the world's largest electronics maker in terms of revenue, and last year also became the world's largest semiconductor maker, overtaking Intel.

The company was planning to invest $22 billion into 5G and AI, as well as related areas like auto-components, and is looking to have 20 percent of market share in 5G by 2020.

Samsung is currently in fifth place behind Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, and Nokia in network equipment. However, the bans from the US and Australia on Huawei equipment have given it an opening to expand in developed economies that Chinese vendors can no longer access.

In South Korea, two out of the three telecommunications carriers have excluded Huawei from its preferred bidders. In July, Samsung unveiled its 3.5GHz and 28GHz millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum equipment in South Korea and stressed its trust with global telcos over competitors.

Kim also said its 5G network will be deployed in its semiconductor factory in Austin. 5G will likely be commercialised next year for consumers, but in the enterprise company, clients are deploying them earlier.

Samsung is also investing heavily in AI, having opened its seventh research center in Montreal in October.

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