If all goes as planned, Samsung Electronics America will conduct market trials of new 28 GHz communications systems in Minneapolis starting later this month and in Las Vegas starting in January.
The company submitted two separate applications with the FCC to conduct the tests, both of which were granted on Nov. 30. The application for Minneapolis said Samsung intends to operate at a low power and within a very limited area, starting Dec. 18, 2017 and ending Feb. 5, 2018.
The application for Las Vegas said it will test in a limited area indoors, starting Jan. 2 and ending Jan. 14, 2018. The application did not mention it, but the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 will take place in Las Vegas from Jan. 9-12.
Samsung Networks has already done a significant amount of testing in the 28 GHz band in the U.S. The company is well known for its R&D in 5G in the U.S., but its actual market share with operators is minimal. The company is a femtocell supplier to Verizon, but that’s pretty much it for the big guys. It is, however, a supplier to the smaller Sprint and involved in trials with U.S. operators.
Woojune Kim, senior vice president of Product and Business Strategy, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, acknowledged at Mobile World Congress Americas that 5G represents an opportunity for Samsung to make headway in the U.S. infrastructure market. Samsung Networks has always been very patient when it comes to U.S. infrastructure, he told FierceWirelessTech.
Samsung also conducted tests with Verizon in the 28 GHz band, one that Samsung and others have identified as one of the most promising for near-term 5G and millimeter wave services, along with the 39 GHz band. The 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands can support wide channel bandwidths, which are necessary to provide the kinds of performance gains that are expected for 5G.
Elsewhere, Samsung has won some big networking deals with operators. In India, for example, Samsung was a key provider of network infrastructure for Reliance Jio, which built one of the largest mobile networks in the world. Samsung deployed more than 1 million cells as part of that network.