Samsung Electronics announced that the company will carry out 4G and 5G trials with Virgin Media O2 in the U.K.
During the trials, the two companies will verify the capability and performance of Samsung’s 4G and 5G network solutions in Virgin Media O2’s commercial network.
The Korean company said that the trial will also assess the interoperability between Samsung’s latest solutions and Virgin Media O2’s 2G and 3G legacy networks.
For the trial, Samsung will provide its baseband unit, 5G massive MIMO radios, as well as 4G radios on both low-band and mid-band spectrum.
“With this trial, we are excited to join hands with Virgin Media O2 to demonstrate the readiness of our 5G network solutions for deployment in the UK and our capabilities in bringing immersive and reliable 4G and 5G mobile experiences to users,” said Woojune Kim, EVP, head of global sales and marketing for the Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “At Samsung, we are continuously enhancing mobile experiences through powerful network solutions that advance and drive 5G to new levels.”
“Vendor diversity is crucial to developing safe, secure and more efficient networks,” said Jeanie York, CTO at Virgin Media O2. “We look forward to undertaking these initial trials with Samsung, which is another milestone in our continued journey to provide the best possible 5G experience for our customers, as well as boosting our 4G network, as we look to upgrade the U.K.”
Virgin Media O2 launched services in June 2021 as a joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica in the U.K. The new Virgin Media O2 is one of the U.K.’s largest operators with 47 million connections including broadband, mobile, TV and fixed lines.
The new business employs around 18,000 people and reported equivalent revenue of £11 billion ($15.2 billion) last year.
Liberty Global and Telefonica had reached an agreement to merge their U.K. operations in a 50-50 joint venture in May last year.
The company had committed to invest at least £10bn over the next 5 years in the U.K.
In May 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to allow the proposed merger between mobile operator O2 and Virgin Media.
Both Virgin and O2 sell wholesale services to a number of mobile operators in the UK Virgin supplies wholesale leased lines to mobile operators and O2 provides its mobile network to companies that do not have their own.
The CMA was initially concerned that, following the merger, Virgin and O2 could raise prices or reduce the quality of these wholesale services. If this were to happen, it could lead to other companies being forced to offer lower quality mobile services or increase their retail prices which would negatively impact consumers.
Having examined the evidence, the CMA has concluded that the proposed merger is unlikely to lead to any substantial lessening of competition in relation to the supply of wholesale services.