Technology company Samsung has today announced that it will conduct 4G and 5G Massive MIMO radio trials with mobile operator Virgin Media 02 in the UK. The trials mean that Virgin Media 02 will become one of the first providers in the country to do so, according to Samsung.
During the trials, the two companies will verify the capability and performance of Samsung’s 4G and 5G network solutions in Virgin Media O2’s commercial network. The trial will also assess the interoperability between Samsung’s latest solutions and Virgin Media O2’s 2G and 3G legacy networks.
Discussing the project between the two companies, Woojune Kim, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said: “With this trial, we are excited to join hands with Virgin Media O2 to demonstrate the readiness of our 5G network solutions for deployment in the U.K. and our capabilities in bringing immersive and reliable 4G and 5G mobile experiences to users. At Samsung, we are continuously enhancing mobile experiences through powerful network solutions that advance and drive 5G to new levels.”
Ericsson is 02’s current 5G supplier but is on the lookout for other competitors
Currently, Ericsson is the strategic supplier for deploying 02’s 5G infrastructure in the UK. However, following Huawei’s government ban, Ericsson has been looking to attract more competition into the market
Vodafone announced earlier this year that Samsung and NEC among others would support their commercial rollout of a new 4G and 5G networks with the support of the Open Radio Access Network (OpenRAN) equipment.
Giving more details on the trials project, Julia Lopez, Minister for Media, Data, and Digital Infrastructure, said: “We’re investing £250 million to put the UK at the forefront of 5G innovation so more people and businesses can benefit from improved and secure connectivity. It is fantastic to see the industry supporting this push with Virgin Media O2 and Samsung working together to increase competition, resilience, and choice in the 5G supply market.”
Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2, also commented: “Vendor diversity is crucial to developing safe, secure, and more efficient networks. We look forward to undertaking these initial trials with Samsung, which is another milestone in our continued journey to provide the best possible 5G experience for our customers, as well as boosting our 4G network, as we look to upgrade the UK.”