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Photo by Vardan Papikyan / Unsplash

Seoul, South Korea - Samsung Electronics and Intel are expanding their collaboration in virtualized radio access network (vRAN) technology.

Why it matters:

This partnership focuses on improving the performance and capacity of vRAN solutions and could have broad implications for virtualized network technologies and 5G capabilities.

The Key Points:

1. Innovation in vRAN:

  • The collaboration will enable Samsung to integrate its vRAN 3.0 software with 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors using Intel vRAN Boost. This integration will deliver advanced vRAN solutions that can support more cells with the same number of servers, resulting in energy savings and cost efficiencies for carriers.
  • The companies have been working together since 2017, developing and proving the performance of their integrated solutions in the commercial networks of Tier 1 operators in the US, UK, and Japan. Together, they have completed interoperability testing and the first call on Samsung's vRAN powered by 4th-generation Intel processors.
  • This enhanced vRAN offering is expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2023.

2. Benefits for Carriers:

  • Samsung's vRAN 3.0 features include 200MHz 3-cell support for 64T64R Massive MIMO radios, power-saving features, improved automation, and support for Multi-Radio Access Technology (Multi-RAT) across 2G, 4G, and 5G. This enables greater flexibility in network operations.
  • The combination of Samsung's vRAN 3.0 and Intel's processors will provide operators with a solution that meets their demanding requirements for capacity, coverage, quality, and total cost of ownership. This collaboration also underscores networks' dependence on a modern, fully virtualized architecture.
  • Both companies emphasize the transformational journey toward end-to-end network virtualization, enabling operators to scale their vRAN deployments with flexibility, performance, and energy efficiency.

The Big Picture:

The ongoing collaboration between Samsung and Intel underscores the growing importance of vRAN technology in the mobile industry.

This joint venture could have an impact not only on the two companies but also on the broader carrier community, as it aims to provide solutions that are in line with current industry standards.

Samsung's ongoing efforts in vRAN, Open RAN, core, private network solutions, and AI-powered automation tools position it as an active participant in developing end-to-end 5G solutions.