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Samsung, Verizon cement partnership with $6.6bn 5G contract

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Verizon has awarded a US$6.6 billion, five-year contract to Samsung to provide wireless network equipment for its 5G network.

The contract, between Samsung Electronics America Inc. and Verizon Sourcing LLC runs from June 2020 to 31 December 2025, according to a regulatory filing by Samsung. The scope of work is to include wireless equipment and network solutions, as well as the provision of maintenance services.

Samsung’s statement read: “With this latest long-term strategic contract, we will continue to push the boundaries of 5G innovation to enhance mobile experiences for Verizon’s customers.”

It’s the latest project announcement between the South Korean manufacturer and US carrier, which first partnered in early 2018.

That October, Verizon launched the world’s first commercial 5G service with the debut of 5G Home in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento and opened 5G labs in New York, Cambridge, MA, and Washington DC. The same year, the first 5G NR call was made on a commercial network and the first over-the-air data transmission on a commercial 5G NR network was also conducted.

Last year, the two collaborated to unveil one of the first commercial 5G smartphones.

Verizon and Samsung have also contributed to developing standards for 5G deployment and Samsung was the first company to earn FCC approval for its 5G commercial products.

Verizon’s other infrastructure partners have previously been named as Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia and Qualcomm.

However, the international business environment has changed significantly since contracts were signed. The US is increasingly wary of tech manufacturers and developers with links to China, and multiple reports concerning this latest Samsung contract have referenced the recent US sanctions against Huawei.

However, South Korea is widely regarded as a leader in 5G technology. In July, the country’s three mobile operators agreed to invest $22 billion in 5G infrastructure and last week the country announced it to launch 6G trials in 2026.

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