2019: Samsung Gets Busy With 5G in US

LAS VEGAS -- CES 2019 -- Samsung is continuing to increase its presence on the 5G network scene in the US and beyond in 2019.

Speaking at CES, Samsung Electronics America's VP of Networks Strategy, BD, & Marketing, Alok Shah, told us that 5G-ready 3.5GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) radio is coming from Samsung Corp. AT&T is expected to start fixed wireless broadband CBRS sevices in late 2019. 3.5GHz is going to be a 5G standard in parts of Asia and Europe, so AT&T should find no problem finding infrastructure to support frequency. While the CBRS move should bolster AT&T's claims that it will support 5G with more than 39GHz or 28GHz millilmeter waves. (See AT&T: We're Not Only Focused on mmWave for 5G and AT&T Picks Samsung, CommScope for CBRS Rollout.)

Further, Shah says that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will start using Samsung's standard 5G New Radio (5G NR) infrastructure in 2019. The vendor wasn't used for AT&T's earliest 5G launch in parts of 12 US markets late in December. That will change this year, Shah said. (See AT&T's 5G Switches On in 12 US Cities, but Only for 'Early Adopters'.)

AT&T has previously said it will deliver two 5G smartphones from Samsung later this year. (See Now AT&T Promises Samsung 5G Phone in Spring 2019, Too.)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is still at the forefront of Samsung's 5G plans too. Shah noted that Verizon still hasn't used the full 800MHz channels to deliver 5G in some of its four live markets. This suggests that further speed and capacity bumps are possible. Verizon CEO Han Vestberg has previously said that the top speeds delivered by its "5G Home" fixed wireless service are around 800 to 900 Mbit/s, with minimum speeds at 300 Mbit/s. (See Verizon's Vestberg Mum on 2019 Capex but Ebullient on 5G Prospects.)

Samsung is now also working with Sprint on its mobile 5G service, due to arrive around the middle of the year. (See Sprint Deploys Samsung's 5G-Ready Massive MIMO Gear.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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