Samsung refutes talk of selling off its networks business

Samsung Electronics has strongly denied rumours that it is looking to sell its mobile comms kit making business, issuing a statement that the rumours are ‘entirely groundless’ and that it has ‘no intention to pull out from its network business’.

Samsung’s Networks unit, which makes infrastructure equipment for mobile telcos such as Korea’s SK Telecom, US mobile operators Sprint and Verizon Wireless and the Vodafone Group, was rumoured to be considered for a sell-off to a rival in the base station business. Reports on the web, quoting unverified sources, suggested there was ‘talk’ in the market that Samsung is looking to offload its wireless business in response to ‘Samsung’s financial challenges’.

Samsung’s statement refuted these suggestions, pointing out that it has ‘strong business ties’ with major operators in US, Japan, Korea, ‘countries that have a leading LTE (4G) market’, it said. “We also have business relations with major operators in South Asia and Europe,” said the statement.

With Samsung a ‘recognized’ innovator in 2G, 3G and 4G technologies and significant investments of ‘tens of billions of dollars every year’ in the future of SDN, NFV and 5G, it has no plans to write off those investments, it said.

“Some news media have contended that Samsung Electronics is considering to sell its network business, which manufactures mobile telecommunication systems,” said the statement. “However, Samsung Electronics has no intention to pull out from its network business.”

The sell off speculation is based on the suggestion that the unit struggled to add new customers in 2015, while the wireless networking business consolidates and Huawei’s growth suppresses network equipment prices.

Samsung Networks denied companies like Ericsson, Nokia Networks, Huawei and LTE might successfully acquire it and buy themselves a much stronger presence in Samsung’s home market, South Korea, one the world’s most advanced wireless network users in the world.

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