Vodafone UK has chosen Samsung as a supplier for its 5G infrastructure, as it seeks to extend its coverage.
One analyst described the move as a “breakthrough” for Samsung, in a market expected to be dominated by Ericsson and Nokia, after the UK joined other countries in banning Huawei products.
Vodafone says it aims to broaden its range of suppliers.
Samsung kit will initially be installed in 2,500 rural sites in the south-west of England and most of Wales.
The South Korean firm is one of a number of companies contracted by Vodafone to build what it calls, “the “first commercial deployment of Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) in Europe”.
The Radio Access Network covers the equipment that provides the final link between your phone and the telephone network, and includes equipment such as mobile phone antennas on towers and buildings.
With Open RAN, parts of the network made by different suppliers are designed to work in the same way, meeting a common set of standards.
Because equipment from different suppliers is interoperable, the network can be put together using components from a range of companies, rather like Lego, as opposed to being built by a single supplier.
Johan Wibergh, Vodafone’s chief technology officer, said using Open RAN would allow the company to release new features simultaneously across multiple sites, add capacity more quickly and resolve outages “instantly”.BBC