Canada-based Telus trumpeted the launch of the 'first wave' of its 5G network, and revealed that Samsung Networks will act as its third 5G infrastructure supplier alongside existing partners Ericsson and Nokia.
The operator, which follows rivals Rogers and Bell with the launch of 5G in limited areas, said it will provide the next generation of mobile services in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and the Greater Toronto Area – and is targeting a further 26 markets by the end of 2020. It is offering 5G as part of the "Telus Peace of Mind" plans at no extra cost.
The addition of Samsung to the vendor roster appears to confirm that Telus is not planning to use equipment from Huawei Technologies for 5G, even though the China-based vendor previously supplied the operator with 4G kit. The operator has already announced it is working with Ericsson and Nokia as partners in building its 5G network.
Clearly, the use of Huawei equipment in 5G is likely to be problematic given the global controversy swirling around the vendor. Indeed, Sweden-based Ericsson has already proved to be a beneficiary here, becoming a substitute for Huawei in either the radio access or core network in several cases — two of which are in Canada (Bell/BCE and Telus).
Samsung also appears to be increasingly picking up elements of former Huawei contracts outside South Korea. The vendor confirmed that it has signed four new 5G contracts in the last seven months, including operators in Canada (Telus), the US (U.S. Cellular) and New Zealand (Spark).
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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading