LOS ANGELES – Software innovation is underpinning Samsung’s recent push into the 5G hardware space with the vendor stating that open source platforms have been integral to its 5G core products.
Alok Shah, vice president of network strategy and marketing at Samsung, said cloud native platforms have increasingly become an important part of network architectures and the company’s focus on those platforms.
“We believe in open source when it comes to a cloud native core that is flexible and has a path forward,” Shah said in an interview at this week’s Mobile World Congress Americas event in Los Angeles. “We think you have to take advantage of OpenStack and these virtualization platforms like containers and the container environment.”
Shah said that Samsung was an active member of the Linux Foundation’s Networking Group and is also a platinum member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which hosts the Kubernetes container orchestration platform. Additionally, Samsung’s SDS subsidiary was a founding member of CNCF’s Kubernetes Certified Service Providers (KCSP) program and offers a managed Kubernetes platform as part of its SDS platform.
“We are investing a lot in these groups, in being part of these groups, and contributing to these groups,” Shah said. “It’s an area we believe is very necessary in 5G going forward.”
Samsung is also in a position to gain business as a system integrator for open source and software platform deployments into traditional telecom networks.
“You have to be a trusted integrator,” Shah said. “Some operators like AT&T are more directly involved and will do some of that themselves. But that’s not for everybody.”
This was a point brought up earlier this week by Arpit Joshipura, general manager for networking and orchestration at the Linux Foundation, at the AT&T Spark event.
“There is an opportunity in the open source world for those traditional vendors to be systems integrators,” Joshipura said. He explained that those vendors have a long history of knowing exactly what telecom operators and networks need in terms of support and could lead in making “those open source projects more distributed and hardened for telecom.”
Busy Hardware Week
Samsung is riding disruptive 5G technologies like virtualization and automation to score deals with domestic carriers. Among current 5G deployments, Samsung is now sitting alongside Nokia and Ericsson as a dominant supplier to the market’s largest operators.
Shah said the vendor has benefitted from the software-centric nature of 5G in gaining market share in the U.S. He said this includes open radio access initiatives that “offer the opportunity for some disruption in the landscape that might have been difficult to penetrate in the past.”
The vendor this week was part of 5G-related network announcement from three domestic operators.
Samsung also scored a deal with Sprint to provide its massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna solution for the carrier’s 4G LTE and 5G network plans. And the vendor is integral to Verizon’s 5G Home service.
A recent report from ABI Research listed Samsung as one of the vendors set to benefit from the ongoing 5G deployment push that is expected to generate $26 billion in worldwide sales by 2023. More specifically, a recent Dell’Oro Group report found that Samsung’s revenue share in North American increased three-fold between 2017 and the first half of 2018.