By Catherine Sbeglia
Samsung Electronics Australia is opening its telecommunications networks operations, Samsung Networks Business, in Australia, with initial offerings including the company’s Compact Macro 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) radio solution, which is functional in both 26GHz and 28GHz spectrums.
“The launch of Samsung Networks Business in Australia will open incredible opportunities for potential partners seeking to explore how the pinnacle of Samsung’s innovation in telecommunications can support the future of network connectivity in this country,” said VP of mobile at Samsung Australia, Garry McGregor. “This announcement comes at a critical moment for mobile operators and government agencies as they consider future opportunities in 5G mmWave technology.”
Last year, Samsung demonstrated the potential of 5G mmWave during a speed test that used two test mobile devices, carrier aggregation and MU-MIMO. The demonstration achieved approximately 4.3 Gbps speeds on each, reaching an industry peak speed of 8.5 Gbps across both devices.
“Samsung will continue to be at the forefront in advancing 5G mmWave technology,” said senior VP of networks business at Samsung Electronics, Hyunho Park, in a press release. “This successful demonstration proves mmWave’s potential to deliver new kinds of business use cases and open up opportunities for mobile operators. We look forward to building on this significant technical breakthrough to fuel our continuous journey towards an innovative and vibrant mmWave ecosystem.”
At the end of 2020, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that a total of 15 applicant companies, including SpaceX Starlink, Telstra, Optus, and Nokia were offered licenses in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands. Then, in January 2021, ACMA opened applications for telecommunications carriers to participate in an auction to secure additional spectrum in these two bands (24.7 – 25.1 GHz and 27.5-29.5 GHz) across 27 geographic regions across the country. This latest auction began earlier this week and results have yet to be made public.
As of December 2020, Australia’s largest mobile operator Telstra was using its spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band to provide 5G coverage to 41 per cent of Australia’s population. Reports show that Telstra had deployed over 2,000 5G base stations in the country. The operator also aims to cover 75 per cent of the country’s population with its 5G service by June 2021.
Rival operator Optus, controlled by Singapore telecommunications group Singtel, said at the time that its 5G network currently operates more than 900 5G sites and is available to over 426,000 households across Australia, while TPG Telecom previously announced plans to accelerate its 5G rollout over the next few months, with over 85 per cent of the population in the country’s six largest cities expected to be served by the end of 2021.