NTT DOCOMO, a leading mobile operator in Japan, has selected Samsung Electronics as a 5G network solution provider.
DOCOMO has nearly 82 million users across Japan.
“We are collaborating with Samsung for the next phase of 5G Open RAN and accelerate the expansion of our Lightning Speed 5G coverage in the nation,” Sadayuki Abeta, general manager of the Radio Access Network Development Department at NTT DOCOMO, said in a statement on Monday.
Samsung is trying to challenge the incumbents in the 5G mobile network equipment industry, dominated by China’s Huawei, Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.
With geopolitical pressures hampering Huawei’s growth outside China, the European companies were able to gain market share.
Samsung gained prominence by winning a $6.6 billion 5G contract from Verizon in the United States, replacing Nokia.
It got a contract from Canada’s SaskTel earlier this month and is also in talks with European telecom operators to gain a foothold on the continent.
Nokia is also a 5G equipment supplier to NTT, which had earlier used equipment developed by NEC and Samsung.
“This announcement cements Samsung’s position as a major 5G RAN supplier,” said Stefan Pongratz, vice president at research firm Dell’Oro.