Samsung Electronics Co. has entered over 1 trillion won ($792.9 million) contract to build 5G network from the scratch based on the latest cloud-based solutions for DISH Network Corp., becoming responsible for the second major U.S. wireless carrier for 5G infrastructure after Verizon in 2020 as the Korean tech giant comes to replace China’s Huawei in 5G technology and equipment amid U.S. sanctions.
The South Korean tech giant announced Tuesday that it was chosen as the primary vendor for 5G infrastructure for DISH Network based on the latest technology of O-RAN (Open Raid Access Network) compliant virtualized RAN (vRAN) solutions and radio units in markets across the U.S. to support DISH Network’s 5G commercial services.
Shares of Samsung Electronics were bolstered on the news amid a myriad of negative factors weighing on the bellwether stock. They went 1 percent higher to 68,200 won early Wednesday trade.
DISH Network – founded in 1980 as a satellite TV service company – advanced into the mobile communications market by securing frequency license for wireless communications service in 2020. It offers service using communications network of T-Mobile, No. 3 player in the U.S. It has 8.7 million subscribers as of end of the third quarter last year.
DISH promised to deliver 5G network capable of covering 20 percent of the population by June this year and 70 percent by June 2023 in the condition of drawing approval from the Federal Communications Commission on T-Mobile’s purchase of Sprint.
It hopes to add traction to its much-delayed 5G roadmap through partnering with Samsung Electronics.
Samsung Electronics’ vRAN can operate on any commercial off-the-shelf server, while still delivering performance on par with traditional hardware-based equipment, the company said. The next-generation technology supports flexible and efficient telecommunications network set-up and operations.
The fully-virtualized vRAN was awarded CTO’s Choice and Best Mobile Technology awards at 2022 Mobile World Congress in March.
The 5G deployment is a major long-term contract in the U.S. for the Korean tech giant after a 7.9 trillion won deal in September 2020 to provide network equipment to U.S.’s No. 1 Verizon.
The company has established a large-scale network using Samsung Electronics’ 5G virtualized solutions to provide telecommunications service to millions of people.
In January, Vodafone UK also launched establishment of a commercial network using Samsung Electronics’ 5G vRAN technology.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee personally met with DISH Network founder Charlie Ergen for partnership in September last year when Ergen was in town.
The two went hiking on Mount Bukhan over the weekend before closing the talks.
Ergen is an avid hiker who climbed to almost every peak that exceeds 14,000 feet in elevation in Colorado where DISH Network headquarters is stationed. He also scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and reached Mount Everest base camp in Nepal.
Lee alone escorted Ergen and the two climbed Mount Bukhan for about five hours. They are known to have talked about a wide range of issues from personal matters to Samsung Electronics and DISH Network’s further partnership.
“Samsung is excited to join this 5G journey with DISH, a pioneer in bringing new experiences to households and businesses around the country, leveraging openness and virtualization that sit at the heart of network evolution,” said Mark Louison, executive vice president and head of the networks business, Samsung Electronics America. “Our advanced 5G vRAN and radio solutions bring telco-grade quality and cloud-based agility together, building on these benefits to enable more customers to experience the full value of commercial 5G Open RAN.”
By Lee Seung-hoon and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]