Samsung Electronics announced it will deliver O-RAN compliant 5G radios, including the latest Massive MIMO radios, to Vodafone UK.
The 5G network deal comes as European mobile operators increasingly consider Samsung in the race to replace China’s Huawei as a supplier, Reuters reported.
Vodafone UK in March acquired 40MHz of spectrum in the 3.6GHz band for 5G mobile services in Ofcom’s auction at a cost of £176.4 million.
Vodafone holds 90MHz of 3.4 – 3.6GHz spectrum. The new spectrum acquired will enable Vodafone UK to significantly expand 5G network capacity.
O2 and Vodafone in April announced a new deal to trade bands to create more efficient blocks of 5G spectrum. The move will, subject to approval from Ofcom, create a contiguous block of 80Mhz for O2, and ensure good proximity of Vodafone’s blocks totalling 90MHz of spectrum.
Samsung in March 2021 announced it achieved a breakthrough in 5G data speeds using E-UTRAN New Radio Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) technology. EN-DC technology enables mobile operators to boost 5G speeds and coverage by leveraging a 4G network.
Britain has already ordered all Huawei equipment to be removed from its 5G network by the end of 2027, echoing a U.S. campaign against Huawei, citing national security risks in the wake of its alleged connection with China military.
Samsung, which has several 4G network contracts in Asia Pacific, is banking on Europe to maintain growth in its network equipment business, a senior executive told Reuters earlier this month, as 5G rollouts widen around the world.
The European telecoms equipment market is dominated by Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, but Samsung has entered the picture after it landed a $6 billion 5G deal with U.S. giant Verizon in September.
Executives from Spain’s Telefonica and France’s Orange previously told Reuters that they had held talks with the South Korean firm.