Samsung Networks began 5G research efforts a decade ago in its 5G Innovation Zone
Samsung Networks may not be the most well-known business within the South Korean conglomerate’s entire organization, but it has been going strong for about 40 years, beginning in the Korean market before expanding. RCR Wireless News spoke to Samsung Networks’ VP of Networks Strategy & Marketing Alok Shah to learn more about the company and how 5G deployment has differed in Korea and the U.S.
According to Shah, because Korean operators tend to be very aggressive in bringing new features to market, the company has learned to be just as aggressive about implementation. In fact, Samsung Networks’s 5G research efforts started a decade ago in its 5G Innovation Zone, where the company is currently building network gear, mobile devices and chipsets to support 5G.
Shah also explained that the innovation zone focuses heavily on developing and showcasing new 5G use cases. “There are interesting consumer use cases for 5G, but the bigger value will be for enterprise customers,” he said. “They were transformed by the mobile revolution and we think that 5G will be another transformative opportunity for a number of verticals.”
“If you go to a smart factory these days, they’re incredible,” he continued. “The level of IoT and automation is incredible, but there are still things they’d like to do differently. Manufactures are always trying to do things more effectively.”
5G will bring higher speeds, increased network capacity and lower latency to enterprise spaces. One area specifically that Shah sees 5G enhancing is video in factories. “With 5G, you can put more video cameras up in big facility to monitor where folks are going and what they’re doing. Then bring analytics into the picture to increase efficiency. Speed really matters when you’re adding that many cameras.”
But for Shah, the most “magical” element of 5G for enterprise users is decreased latency. “Bringing latency down substantially allows the user to perform from a remote perspective much more,” he elaborated. “Robotics in factories can be manipulated without being there in person.”
In addition, with 5G, the number of IoT sensors that can be implemented can skyrocket. “It can go up to a million sensors around a facility, which is huge,” Shah stated. “It’s a combo of these different things. You don’t get all of this at once because different devices have different requirements, but network slicing will help with this.”
When asked how Korea and the U.S. are approaching 5G deployment differently, Shah said while both counties have moved quickly to build 5G networks that allow for innovation, Korea is a very different country than the U.S., even just in terms of geography. “Its 500 million residents are in a relatively small space,” he reasoned, “so they have really pushed hard on driving 5G coverage everywhere. From April’s launch, they have deployed a massive number of 5G base stations.”
But the biggest difference, said Shah, is around spectrum. “In Korea, the 3.5 GHz band was allocated to the three operators and that is really where they pushed the pace with rollouts. They have substantially coverage and capacity for 5G. that mid-band is very important to driving broad coverage with higher performance,” he explained.
“In the U.S.,” Shah continued, “spectrum has been allocated aggressively by the FFC and mostly higher band. The U.S. is still waiting for that mid-band spectrum.”
And with the FCC’s July announcement that it is moving to open up mid-band spectrum to 5G, the spectrum waiting game might be drawing to a close.
Samsung Networks is a big believer in continued 4G improvements, and Shah pointed to how heavily carriers are still investing into enhancing LTE assets. “It will be here for a decade or longer. With NSA and duel connectivity, you have tighter interworking between them, and together [4G and 5G] are able to bring even greater level of performance to users.”
The post Samsung Networks explores new 5G enterprise use cases appeared first on RCR Wireless News.