Samsung Networks doesn’t consider itself an “incumbent” but “a challenger” in network infrastructure, Derek Johnston, head of marketing and 5G business at the company told Silverlinings on a call. Nonetheless the vendor is doing well in the virtualized radio access network (vRAN) right now, scoring deals with Verizon, Vodafone, KDDI, NTT DoCoMo and Dish Networks.

Notably, Samsung is the sole 5G vRAN supplier for Verizon. Johnston said that the operator passed 10,000 vRAN sites “at some point last year,” and has a goal to deploy 20,000 sites by 2025.

Samsung is supporting Verizon and the other operators with vRAN “that is O-RAN compliant,” Johnston noted.

Samsung, it turns out, also provides some of its own silicon for Layer 1 acceleration. The firm is also working with Intel or Marvell, depending on which system an operator prefers.

vRAN 3.0

Samsung has also released its vRAN 3.0 software — Johnston ran down a few of the new features for us.

“There’s a series of energy saving capabilities…we’ve got this thing called CPU core sleep mode. [This is] reducing the power consumption by automatically putting the CPU in sleep mode,” Johnston said. This comes with other power saving features in the latest version of the vRAN software, he added.

“We’ve had an operator who is trialling this that has seen upwards of 26% power savings in an off-peak time period,” Johnston said.

The vRAN 3.0 orchestration tool, Johnston adds, can undertake tasks like turning up three or four sites all at the same time as opposed to doing them site by site, he said.

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