Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced today that it will partner with Korean telecommunications operator LG U+ to jointly develop 5G technology, in a move that will further strengthen both companies. The agreement will also enhance Korea’s global leadership in 5G research and help drive the creation of standards for the next major phase of innovation in mobile telecommunications.
“This partnership will help us drive R&D, which in turn will power innovation in the global telecommunications industry. 5G networks will be based on the convergence of a whole host of incredible new technologies, from more advanced antenna systems to Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). Bringing together Samsung’s cutting-edge technology and LG U+’s expertise and understanding of end-users preferences as well as application and service trends, will be a powerful combination,” said DongSoo Park, Executive Vice President of R&D in Network Business at Samsung Electronics
“Together we will be well-prepared for the 5G era. Through close collaboration and by leveraging LG U+’s extensive network management understanding and Samsung’s technology leadership, we hope to lead the next generation of telecommunications technology, not only in Korea, but around the world,” added Sun Tae Kim, Executive Vice President of LG U+’s Service and Development Division.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony on June 25, which marks the formal start of the partnership, was attended by almost 100 senior staff from both companies. The event also featured an in-depth discussion of how the two companies will collaborate; as a result, both sides agreed to a shared ‘5G Readiness Target’ for the year 2020.
The collaboration will focus on three areas that are of critical strategic importance to 5G’s future:
1) 5G global spectrum identification and acquisition
Identifying and acquiring appropriate spectrum for 5G use is a key goal of the partnership, with particular emphasis on high-frequency bands, due to its relatively high availability and potentially enormous data capacity. Given the lack of industry-wide agreement on 5G spectrum, Samsung and LG U+ have identified an urgent need to drive early global standardization. Together, the companies will contribute jointly to efforts to determine the best spectrum – subject to the consensus of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) IMT-2020 group.
Samsung Electronics and LG U+ will prepare a collaborative white paper on 5G spectrum standardization and will appear jointly at key industry events to address this issue. As part of their submission for the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), the South Korean telecommunications industry and government have proposed the following six 5G spectrum bands as suitable for global usage: 27 – 29.5GHz, 31.8 – 33.4 GHz, 37 – 42.5 GHz, 45.5 – 50.2 GHz, 50.4 – 52.6 GHz, and 64 – 74 GHz.
2) 5G technology co-development
To establish a leadership position in 5G, Samsung and LG U+ will collaborate on future research and development. For example, the companies will co-develop Full Dimension Multiple Input Multiple Output (FD-MIMO) antenna technology, in order to deliver 5G’s throughput and data capacity potential.
Other joint R&D areas will include network architecture design, a review of key network elements and new millimetre wave (mmWave) radio technologies – both for network infrastructure and user devices. Performance targets in this latter area include vastly improved throughput capabilities and smooth service, even at speeds of up to 500km/h.
Lastly, co-development will also focus on Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies, with the aim of sharply enhancing end-to-end operational efficiency and flexibility. Advances in these areas are considered essential to drive performance and support the next generation of Internet-of-Things based devices and services.
3) 5G technology global standardization
The partnership will focus not only on the determination of 5G spectrum, but the standardization of 5G technologies as well.
To this end, Samsung Electronics and LG U+ will actively participate in several key global standardization bodies, including the ITU’s IMT-2020 promotion group and the 5G Forum in Korea. These organizations are important platforms from which Samsung and LG U+ can jointly promote the adoption of 5G spectrum and technology standards. Together, the companies will actively contribute to the advancement of Korea’s ICT leadership efforts.
As detailed in Samsung’s 5G Vision whitepaper, the advent of 5G mobile networks is expected to exponentially increase cellular data throughput capabilities while drastically reducing network latency and operational costs. However, if this potential is to be realized, it will be essential to strike industry partnerships and collaborate during the ongoing development of 5G technology.
In addition to LG U+ in South Korea, Samsung has established partnerships with several operators across the world’s leading LTE markets, all with the aim of accelerating the R&D of 5G technology. These include collaboration with operators in Japan, Europe, and South Korea.
Samsung has also taken an active role in multiple 5G exploratory and standardization organizations, including the previously mentioned ITU’s IMT-2020, the World Radiocommunication Conference, and the 5G Forum in South Korea – as well as the Europe-focused 5G Public Private Partnership (5G PPP).