[Editorial] Realizing the Future of Next-Generation Networks With Unforeseen Innovation
The evolution of mobile network technology has changed our lives gradually and dramatically. Such progress has seeped into our everyday lives and changed the way we communicate, spend our free time, and how we work.
Until the year 2010, communication was mostly voice and text-based. Over the past 13 years, we’ve seen consistent technology advancements from 4G to 5G and beyond, and we’re now able to enjoy ultra-high-definition, large-capacity multimedia content, anytime, anywhere.
Mobile network technology has redefined the cultural landscape of connections at all levels — between people to people, business to business and industry to industry.
Software Is at the Heart of Mobile Network Evolution, Moving Toward Virtualization
At Samsung, we have been focused on identifying the key technology that will drive mobile network transformation and we think the answer is software.
Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen once said, “software is eating the world.” Just like this famous phrase, global industries are being ‘eaten’ by software and this dynamic transition is called ‘virtualization’ in the network infrastructure world. Whereas hardware is the foundation for traditional networks, virtualization is all about shifting to software.
Virtualization lets you transform many hardware functions and features into software, allowing various services to run on a single hardware platform. Simply put, it works similar to downloading and regularly updating a range of apps on your smartphone.
vRAN Will Eat up the Network Infrastructure World
Samsung has been spearheading the shift toward network virtualization and openness. We introduced the first fully virtualized Radio Access Network also known as vRAN. Although vRAN currently accounts for just 3 percent1 of the global RAN market, it is a pioneering technology that the industry is watching closely.
Samsung has been a forerunner in the innovative path to vRAN, proving our outstanding performance and wide-scale commercialization capabilities in the real-world, leading expansion in major 5G markets, including Asia, Europe and North America.
We supported the largest-scale commercial vRAN for the first time in the world with Verizon in 2020, and since then, have been providing stable and reliable 5G services to millions of customers. We also began our collaboration with DISH Wireless and Vodafone Group, actively expanding our vRAN footprint to new markets, including the U.K., Germany and beyond.
With the innovations that we are bringing to virtualization, we are creating the blueprint for next-generation networks. We are not only committed to advancing our technology, but more importantly, onboarding and growing the best software talents, which we believe is a central pillar to our achievements.
Samsung Networks Chipset: Packaging the Essence of Our Innovation and Technological Capabilities
The power of chipsets not only radiates through hardware-based networks, but also in software-centric virtualized architectures. While most functions and features are being turned into software, there are still integral parts of the network that remain as hardware. Therefore, the ability to pack advanced features into a tiny chipset is one of our invaluable asset.
Our competitive advantage stems from our unique combination of expertise in innovative software solutions and our comprehensive portfolio of hardware combined with our 5G network chipsets.
Samsung is the only major network vendor that has the capability to design, develop and manufacture 4G and 5G network chipsets in-house.
With the rising market demand for higher energy efficiency, as well as support for complex spectrum bands and reduced hardware footprint, there has been a stronger emphasis on chipset technologies.
Compared to previous generations, our latest 5G chipset reduces base station energy consumption by about 40 percent and antenna size by nearly half compared to previous products, and also includes support for multiple spectrum bands.
With a strong foundation built on over 40 years of experience in network technologies, we have managed to stay ahead of evolving market demands, introducing a compact and lightweight radio with high performance and energy efficiency.
Building a Better Tomorrow With Energy Savings Technology
The true value of innovation is not just about advancing technology, but it’s also about pursuing a better tomorrow. Ranging from software to AI and chipsets, sustainability has always been at the core of our product development strategy. Bringing our sustainability vision to life, we are introducing our newest energy saving features for vRAN at MWC this year.
As legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said, “a good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
As we continue along our exciting journey, Samsung will always think a step ahead, anticipating future needs of our customers. And, as a pioneer in the mobile network industry, Samsung will continue to drive this paradigm shift by jumpstarting the next wave of unforeseen innovation.
1 Source: Dell’Oro (3Q, 2022)
President & Head of Networks Business, Samsung Electronics