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Mass Communication-Samsung Reveals Compact Core, C-Band Radio-BAIM PICK SELECTS

Samsung today revealed a massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radio for C-Band deployments in the U.S. and a Compact Core for private 5G networks.

The Compact Core, which Samsung plans to release before the end of the year, effectively acts as a miniature standalone core for private enterprise or campus networks. The “all-in-one box” is cloud native, includes core network functions and management systems, and can also run on any x86-based commercial off-the-shelf server, according to Samsung.

The product supports 4G and 5G core implementations, and can run cores for both networks simultaneously, the vendor said. Samsung’s Compact Core can be used in an operator-led deployment or a completely separate private network running on an enterprise’s spectrum holdings, explained Derek Johnston, head of marketing and 5G business development at Samsung.

“We understand that we’re not quite necessarily a huge player in the core market, but it is an area where we do realize and recognize the need for these kinds of lightweight solutions,” he said, in a phone interview.

The vendor is specifically targeting the new product to factories, shipyards, steel plants, and research and development facilities, but it can support private enterprise networks in other industries as well.

Samsung’s new massive MIMO radio for mid-band deployments in the C-Band will also be commercially available later this year, according to the vendor. While the gear is flexible and can be tuned to work in other mid-band spectrum ranges, for now Samsung is keying in on C-Band spectrum in the U.S., Johnston said.

The radio, which borrows heavily from massive MIMO radios it supplied to 5G operators in Korea, includes 64 antennas and supports up to 280 megahertz of bandwidth, according to Samsung.

Samsung Bolsters Ascent in U.S. Market

These efforts follow a series of waves made by the South Korean vendor in the U.S. of late. The company inked a massive, $6.4 billion deal with Verizon during the summer to supply 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment to the operator through 2025. That agreement effectively marks the end of Nokia’s long established RAN contract with Verizon.

Samsung also recently indicated its intention to join the wave of 5G network virtualization with a fully virtualized 5G RAN offering. The kit, which includes a virtualized centralized unit, a virtualized distributed unit, and software that allows operators to move from dedicated baseband hardware to general purpose, x86-based servers, was originally slated to be available by the end of September.

Those products are now on track to be commercially available before the end of the year, according to Johnston. The company inched closer to its open RAN vision last month via an agreement with Red Hat that makes it the first major RAN vendor to publicly build 5G services on OpenShift.

The vendor is pursuing multiple paths of development to broaden its portfolio for mobile network operators and private enterprises “with an eye towards supporting the ongoing spectrum needs of the U.S. market as it evolves,” Johnston said.

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