Three UK awarded Samsung the contract to supply LTE infrastructure equipment ready for commercial launch in 2013. The deal marks a turning point for Samsung, with 3 UK being the first European operator to use the South Korean vendor's LTE RAN and 3G/LTE core infrastructure systems.
The contract calls for Samsung to deploy LTE base stations, including all associated systems and network support services, across 3's UK-wide network. The system will be tested by 3 UK and Samsung this year, with full deployment in 2013.
Youngky Kim, Samsung's executive vice president for telecommunications systems, said in a statement: "This contract marks a significant milestone for Samsung and further demonstrates our commitment to the European market."
"Samsung has been active in developing and commercialising data-specialised mobile solutions since the early 2000s, and has accrued significant experience in LTE projects around the globe," he said. "We are bringing the full weight of this experience to our deployment with 3 UK, and trust this will mark the start of many successful relationships with leading mobile operators based in Europe."
Samsung has won contracts in the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia to deploy LTE infrastructure for operators there. Samsung was the fifth-largest LTE infrastructure vendor in the second quarter, according to the research firm the Dell'Oro Group. The South Korean firm trailed Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei.
Three UK CEO David Dyson said its subscribers would start benefiting from this investment in the core network early next year, and those benefits would grow further as the company deployed new spectrum. "In Samsung's home market operators are busy turning off 2G," he said in a statement. "In the UK, Three is the only operator without a 2G network which means more and more consumers are choosing the network built for the Internet."
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