Samsung Electronics has announced it will deploy its cloud-native fully virtualised Radio Access Network (vRAN) solutions for the mid-band spectrum in KDDI’s 5G network. Samsung and KDDI have been collaborating on advanced research on vRAN to drive 5G innovation for KDDI’s network. Most recently, the companies successfully completed the first 5G Standalone (SA) call using Samsung’s vRAN and another vendor’s 5G Massive MIMO radios, which are O-RAN compliant.
Powered by Samsung’s vRAN, KDDI’s 5G network will aim to deliver “exceptional” performance, enabling KDDI users to experience the full potential of 5G.
Kazuyuki Yoshimura, Chief Technology Officer of KDDI, said: “We are delighted to extend our collaboration with Samsung and to become the first operator in Japan to use their 5G vRAN solutions, which are currently delivering superior performance in commercial networks. We believe in the power of virtualisation, and this collaboration serves as a meaningful catalyst for driving the next phase of 5G innovation, and advancing our networks to offer best-in-class 5G services.”
With its latest 5G vRAN technology, Samsung brings a range of improvements to KDDI’s network. By replacing dedicated baseband hardware with software elements, vRAN offers more deployment flexibility, greater scalability and improved resource efficiency in network operation. With its cloud-native, container-based architecture, Samsung’s vRAN also simplifies end-to-end network management through automation, allowing operators to quickly introduce new services with minimal impact on deployment.
“With commercially-proven performance and reliability, our vRAN is an attractive technology option for operators — from both the deployment and operational perspectives,” said Woojune Kim, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to mark another milestone with KDDI, following previous network collaborations that include the commercialization of 5G in 2020, and the rollout of 700MHz 5G in 2021. We look forward to our ongoing work with KDDI to bring new 5G innovations to their customers.”
Virtualised networks will play a key role in supporting KDDI’s pursuit of new 5G use cases and next-generation capabilities. Last year, for instance, Samsung and KDDI demonstrated how 5G end-to-end network slicing could play a key role for mobile operators by enabling the creation of multiple virtual networks within a single physical network infrastructure.
Samsung and KDDI will begin trials in Q1 of 2022, and start commercial deployment in the second half of 2022.
Leaders in vRAN innovation
Samsung has been at the forefront of vRAN leadership around the world, unveiling its fully virtualised 5G RAN in 2020, followed by successful commercialisation with a Tier 1 operator in the U.S. In June 2021, the company was selected by a major European operator to bring vRAN to the U.K.
The company recently showcased its vRAN capability to support Massive MIMO radios on mid-band, reaching multi-gigabit speeds. The company also teamed with a Tier 1 U.S. operator to complete an end-to-end 5G vRAN trial over C-Band in a live network environment, demonstrating vRAN performance equal to that of traditional hardware-based equipment.
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios, and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualised RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.