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Samsung offers 6G vision, private network

Samsung President Cheun Kyung-whoon presents the company’s vision for network business during a virtual event on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung President Cheun Kyung-whoon presents the company’s vision for network business during a virtual event on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)

Through its first event to introduce an array of 5th generation network technologies late Tuesday, Samsung Electronics has put its emphasis on preemptive investments in 6G to cement its position in the global network industry.

Samsung is increasing its efforts on the 6th generation of wireless connections, to bring hyper-connected experiences to users, the tech giant announced during the virtual event streamed live from Seoul to the world.

Called “Samsung Networks: Redefined,” the show was streamed live from Seoul at 11 p.m., Korean time. It was the first event to be hosted by Samsung’s network business.

The virtual event was held ahead of Mobile World Congress 2021, an offline event slated for June 28 in Barcelona, Spain. Last year’s congress was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samsung decided to hold its own event separately to showcase its latest network technologies.

On 6G, Samsung said it recently explored the potential of the terahertz spectrum application for 6G wireless communications, demonstrating an end-to-end 140GHz wireless link using a fully digital beamforming solution, it said.

“Samsung is preparing to bring about innovation to support extended reality, mobile hologram and digital replicas in the 6G era,” a company official explained.

Samsung’s first presentation of its vision for the networks business drew attention amid its ongoing competition with stronger rivals like Huawei, Nokia and Ericsson.

As of the end of 2020, Samsung was estimated to rank fourth with an 8.5 percent share in the global network equipment market, according to data by market researcher TrendForce.

Samsung also highlighted the virtualization of the entire network system as its differentiating point from the competitors.

Virtualization of an entire network, which replaces hardware components with software, will bring greater efficiency, scalability and flexibility in network management, and make upgrades easier as they can be done through software implementations, it said.

Calling it “vRAN,” Samsung has virtualized all elements of a baseband unit through years of research efforts.

Samsung’s fully virtualized 5G RAN solution takes all of the radio network functions that can be provided by software, and breaks them down into a virtualized central unit and distributed unit, as well as a range of radio units.

Samsung deployed the industry’s first fully virtualized commercial 5G RAN to US mobile carrier Verizon early this year.

Samsung’s private network solution, which was introduced through a short clip of a smart factory system in the company’s headquarters in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, caught the audience’s attention.

Samsung emphasized, “It has the capability to build reliable and secure private networks” among other things.

Network security has been a sensitive issue in the telecom equipment market. The US government had taken issue with the security risks of using Huawei equipment, citing them as part of its reasons for banning the Chinese network system.

On Tuesday, the tech giant also unveiled three new 5G chipsets and one antenna radio solution.

“We are delighted to discuss the infinite possibilities of wireless technology, as we continue our 5G journey, and pave the way toward the next phase of 5G,” said Cheun Kyung-whoon, president and head of the networks business at Samsung.

Samsung Networks has successfully delivered 5G network equipment to over 4 million stations around the world, the president mentioned.

The company focused on driving next-generation networks through advancing virtualization, and leading 5G radio innovation by embedding the company’s latest in-house chipsets into its radios, he said.

By Song Su-hyun (