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Samsung prepares for 4G LTE roll out in Southeast Asia

Veronica C. Silva | Sept. 27, 2011
Field trials and pilots this year are expected to turn into commercial rollout by 2012.

As Southeast Asian operators start to commercially roll out the next generation of wireless connectivity in the region, South Korea's Samsung Electronics is showcasing its 4G LTE solutions as more operators are planning their commercial rollout in the coming months.

4G LTE (long-term evolution) is considered the next step in the race for faster connectivity. For many years now, operators in Southeast Asia, and even around the Asia Pacific region, have been conducting field trials in preparation for commercial offering.

Already, Singapore's M1 and the Philippines' Smart Communications have started offering LTE this year. But more operators have announced plans to roll out before the end of the year or next year. 

Samsung said it is working with Asian operators to help them with their field trials and pilots. However, the company didn't name which operators it is working with.

LTE solutions

At the recently concluded 6th LTE Asia conference in Singapore, Samsung showcased its range of 4G LTE products for macro and small cells. Samsung said its "smart LTE solutions allow flexible deployments in any environment and provide a solution to mobile service providers who are facing increased growth in data traffic as a result of the rapid uptake in smart phones and tablet PCs."

The company considers the Asian region important for their business.  

"Asia is one of the most dynamic and passionate telecommunication markets; the demand for mobile broadband services is such that we expect it to account for more than 30 percent of global mobile data traffic," said Youngky Kim, executive vice president and general manager, telecommunication systems business, Samsung Electronics.

"We strongly believe that Samsung can play a key role in making Asia a centre of mobile broadband culture using LTE, based on our advanced technology, unbeatable OFDMA (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) experiences and excellent understanding of the market," he added.

Key players

But Samsung is not alone in trying to grab a piece of the action in the region.

M1 has chosen Huawei while a host of other suppliers have announced their participation in other field trials and pilots in the region.

Aside from Huawei and Samsung, analysts interviewed by MIS Asia said the other players in the region are Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens Networks. However, analysts do not consider Samsung a major player in the region.

"Samsung will continue to compete in the region but is unlikely to be a leader with significant market share," said Mark Koh, senior industry analyst for ICT, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, in an e-mail to MIS Asia. "Ericsson is the clear leader in this market space, and Huawei (has a) pretty strong presence in the region." Alcatel-Lucent, on the other hand, has a more significant presence outside Asia, Koh added.


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