Samsung Electronics will invest $22 billion in 5G networking and AI going forward to secure a “minimum” of 20 percent market share in network equipment by 2020, the company’s network boss has said.
Youngky Kim, president and head of Samsung’s network business, speaking at WSJ D.Live in California, told a panel that the next-generation network will unlock the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), describing 5G as “oxygen” for AI.
“AI needs a lot of data to respond to you,” Kim said. “This amount of data can be provided by 5G, not 4G.”
Samsung produces half a billion electronic devices yearly, and this will provide it with international experience of what humans want, he said. The South Korean tech giant is the world’s largest electronics maker in terms of revenue, and last year also became the world’s largest semiconductor maker, overtaking Intel.
The company was planning to invest $22 billion into 5G and AI, as well as related areas like auto-components, and is looking to have 20 percent of market share in 5G by 2020.
Samsung is currently in fifth place behind Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, and Nokia in network equipment. However, the bans from the US and Australia on Huawei equipment have given it an opening to expand in developed economies that Chinese vendors can no longer access.
In South Korea, two out of the three telecommunications carriers have excluded Huawei from its preferred bidders. In July, Samsung unveiled its 3.5GHz and 28GHz millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum equipment in South Korea and stressed its trust with global telcos over competitors.
Kim also said its 5G network will be deployed in its semiconductor factory in Austin. 5G will likely be commercialised next year for consumers, but in the enterprise company, clients are deploying them earlier.
Samsung is also investing heavily in AI, having opened its seventh research center in Montreal in October.
Samsung will turn in its second 5G standard to the ITU in December next year, which will pave the way for connected cars and smart factories.
Intel said it has pushed the launch of a 5G modem forward by six months, with the product to become available to device manufacturers in the second half of next year.
Verizon used a 5G-upgradeable Motorola smartphone with a Qualcomm 5G modem and Samsung’s 5G technology to connect to its new mobile network.
Samsung and SK Telecom have developed a prototype 5G switchboard based on the standalone standard that will boost data processing speed by nearly twice as much when compared to non-standalone.
China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom have all signed deals with Nokia to improve their mobile and fixed networks in preparation for 5G.
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