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Samsung to supply 5G equipment to India’s Airtel

A Samsung logo seen at the tech giant`s headquarters in Seoul (Bloomberg)
A Samsung logo seen at the tech giant`s headquarters in Seoul (Bloomberg)
Samsung Electronics said Thursday it has inked a deal to supply 5G network equipment to India’s telecom giant Bharti Airtel, its first 5G equipment deal made in the world’s second-largest telecom market.

According to the South Korean tech giant, Airtel, India’s No. 2 telecom carrier and the No. 4 globally with 490 million subscribers, on Wednesday selected Samsung as one of its equipment partners ahead of its planned launch of 5G network services this month.

Under the deal, Samsung will supply radio units, including massive MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) radios, and offer optimization and maintenance services.

With the latest deal, now Samsung boasts close ties with India’s top two telecom companies. Samsung has supplied 4G network equipment for Reliance Jio, the market leader.

India is the world’s second-largest telecom market where some 1.1 billion network subscribers use a whopping 15.3 billion gigabytes mobile data per month. Samsung paved the way to expand its presence in the market as it participated in a 2016 project building the nation’s 4G network infrastructure.

“Samsung, which played a role in India’s transition from 2G to 4G, aims to further bolster ties for the upcoming 5G era,” said Jeon Kyoung-hoon, network business chief at Samsung Electronics.

Samsung has joined 5G commercialization projects in countries such as South Korea, the US, Japan, the UK and Canada. It plans to beef up efforts to secure a firm footing in the burgeoning 5G equipment market globally.

By Lee Ji-yoon (