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Samsung hooks up with Vodafone in breakthrough 5G network deal

The South Korean tech leader is also said to be in talks with other telecoms firms across Europe after Huawei’s sidelining over alleged security concerns


Samsung Electronics saw its profit surge in the second quarter. It plans to unveil its foldable smartphone on August 11. File photo by Reuters.

The South Korean tech leader is also said to be in talks with other telecoms firms across Europe after Huawei’s sidelining over alleged security concerns

 

Korean tech giant Samsung has scored a major coup after sealing a deal to supply Vodafone its 5G network equipment across the UK.

The firm announced the hook-up with the British telecoms group on Monday, in what represents a major breakthrough for the South Korean company in Europe’s telecoms gear market.

European mobile operators are now increasingly looking to Samsung to replace China’s Huawei as a supplier, with executives from Spain’s Telefonica and France’s Orange also reported to have held talks with the firm. 

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Britain has already ordered all Huawei equipment to be removed from its 5G network by the end of 2027, following a US campaign against the Chinese tech firm, over claims of national security risks.

Samsung is banking on Europe to maintain growth in its network equipment business, a senior executive said earlier this month, as 5G rollouts widen.

“It still has a long way to go to catch Ericsson and Nokia but Samsung has a well-rounded 5G RAN portfolio across mobile broadband, fixed wireless access and private 5G networks, so it should be seen as a genuine contender,” said CCS Insight analyst Richard Webb.

VERIZON DEAL

The European telecoms equipment market is dominated by Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, but Samsung has entered the picture after it unexpectedly landed a $6 billion deal with US giant Verizon in September.

Several telecom operators are also warming to a new approach to wireless network architecture called Open RAN, which allows mobile operators to mix and match equipment from various suppliers, potentially improving flexibility and reducing costs.

While companies such as Japan’s Rakuten and Dish Network have been at the forefront of using open networks, older telecom firms like Telefonica and Vodafone are now also emerging as proponents of the new technology.

 

  • Reporting by Reuters

 

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Sean OMeara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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