South Korean telecom component maker RFHIC is expecting its highest annual sales on record in 2021.
The company’s gallium nitride (GaN) power amplifiers are being supplied to Samsung Electronics’ network business. Samsung Network is planning to supply wireless equipment with GaN power amplifiers to US carrier Verizon this year.
Samsung Network is also planning to supply GaN power amplifier based wireless equipment for India’s 5G network, people familiar with the matter said.
India had delayed its 5G spectrum auction, which was initially planned for 2020, to this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local telco Reliance Jio had used Samsung Network’s kits for its 4G network. Most telcos use the same vendor for their 4G and 5G networks.
Power amplifies are used to amply weak analogue wireless signals when they are sent out from the base station.
In 2019, RFHIC posted 107.8 billion won in sales and 17.9 billion won in operating income. On that year, South Korean telcos invested heavily in their 5G networks. They used laterally-diffused metal-oxide semiconductor transistors instead of GaN for the power amplifiers in their telecom kits.
In the same year, RFHIC also enjoyed high sales from its customer Huawei, which accounted for around half its annual sales.
In 2020, RFHIC posted 70.5 billion won in sales and 3.3 billion won in operating loss. US sanctions against Huawei took a major impact on the firm. RFHIC uses US foundry Wolfspeed, a subsidiary of Cree, to contract produce its GaN transistors.
South Korean analysts are expecting RFHIC to post late-100 billion won in sales and around 30 billion won in operating income in 2021. The company’s earnings is directly tied with those of Samsung Network.
Samsung, at its fourth quarter conference call, had said it expects new business opportunities following the start of US’ C-Band auction in December. The South Korean company is attempting to supply its kit to AT&T, people familiar with the matter previously told TheElec.