Samsung Electronic’ network business boss Jeon Kyung-hoon has visited South Korean repeater maker Solid late last month to discuss their collaboration for customer KDDI and open RAN, TheElec confirmed on Tuesday.
Japanese telco KDDI is a major customer of Samsung Network. The South Korean company has supplied its 3G, 4G and 5G telecom equipment for the carrier. It clinched a US$2 billion supply deal with KDDI back in September last year.
Samsung was collaborating with Solid to design KDDI’s network and co-supplying the equipment, a person familiar with the matter said, and the collaboration between the two South Koreans company is expected to only increase going forward.
The two also likely discussed further collaboration in open RAN, the person added.
Solid is developing an open RAN radio unit. Previously, mid-sized firms like Solid couldn’t supply their radio units as fronthaul standards were closed off by major vendors such as Samsung Electronics.
But an open RAN standard will allow radio units to be connected to the distributed unit. South Korean telco SK Telecom has used Solid’s 3.5GHz and 28GHz radio units to connect with its distributed unit (DU) back in March.
Samsung also launched its virtual distributed unit earlier this month. This follows its virtualization of the central unit. Connecting the two allows for a virtual RAN that supports x86 server equipment.
This movement allows carriers save cost by using standardized server equipment to design their networks instead of having to choose designated distributed units and central units made by major equipment vendors.
Followers in network equipment like Samsung can offer telcos with open RAN solutions that will help it increase market share.
A Samsung spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.