Samsung Looks to Multivendor, 5G RAN Future

Samsung says that it is taking a multivendor approach to deploying 5G radio access networks.

The vendor says that it has been focused on "open interfaces within radio access networks." This is designed to deliver services more efficiently to consumers and businesses.

Following early successes in selling 5G (and even late-period 4G) networks, Samsung is still "a challenger in the RAN space" compared to "the big 3" (Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia), according to Alok Shah, vice president of networks strategy, BD and marketing at Samsung Electronics America.

Samsung has also focused on opening CPRI and X2 interfaces for fronthaul and centralized RAN (C-RAN) interfaces.

In February, Samsung joined the O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) Alliance. Shah expects O-RAN networks to be live in the field later this year or early in 2020. The O-RAN Alliance is working to enable RAN software to run on top of "white box" standard x86 hardware.

Shah says the move to open interfaces and multivendor networks is not for every operator. "It's been taken up by the larger and more technology-forward operators," he says.

Nonetheless, he expects to see more from various entities. "We'll probably see more multivendor networks next year," Shah says.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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