Samsung has announced that it is to cooperate with T-Mobile US, America's third-largest carrier, in building a "nearly commercially complete" 5G service using the 28GHz band, next year. We already knew of Samsung and T-Mobile US' arrangement but in addition to this announcement, Samsung also explained that they are increasing their cooperation with America's two largest carriers, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, to develop 5G technologies. Samsung appear determined to put their foot into the door of 5G technologies, which are exciting governments all over the world.
Samsung have already demonstrated their 28GHz 5G networking technology earlier in the year by operating a small antenna and amplifier system for base stations operating at this high frequency. The problem with high frequency radio waves is that whilst the carrier wave is able to transmit and receive data at a very high rate, it is easily degraded and then stopped by buildings and obstacles. 28GHz is a significantly higher frequency than today's commercial cellular networks, whereby the American telecoms regulator, the FCC, is currently running an auction for spectrum at the 600MHz point. America's fourth largest carrier, Sprint, operates some of the highest frequency commercial spectrum at the 2.5GHz point. However, as part of the 5G 28GHz rollout, Samsung is set to utilize beam forming technologies: this is a means of extending the range of a given mast through careful optimization of the radio waves and network infrastructure. Samsung has a position on the board of the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, or AWRI, and as such has an influence on the development of 5G technologies. An official from the Korean Ministry of Science said this on the matter: "The 5G technology being developed by the AWRI is highly likely to become such a leading international standard that the Korean government will apply the technology to a 5G telecommunication network that will be tentatively operated beginning in 2018."
Samsung has much to gain from steering the AWRI by applying its own technologies and know-how into the mix: if it is able to secure a foothold with America's three largest carriers, it will be able to gain valuable experience to allow it to roll out similar technologies to other markets. The 5G networking standard has yet to be ratified but we've seen American and European political leaders pushing to introduce the technology as quickly as possible. Here, Samsung is providing the infrastructure at the network end as well as gaining insight to allow it to fine tune devices for the consumer market.