Samsung and Ciena announce 5G love-in

You’ve got the transport, I’ve got the RAN, let’s make lots of money (what Samsung said to Ciena, as imagined by

Another day, another vendor partnership. Following on from yesterday’s news that Intel and Juniper were clubbing together with Rakuten Symphony to develop a next-gen DU, Samsung Electronics and Ciena have unveiled their own 5G combo.

The partnership marries together Ciena’s xHaul routing and switching portfolio, as well as its “next-generation” MCP (manage, control and plan) domain controller, with Samsung’s core and RAN portfolio. The South Korean vendor’s portfolio includes vRAN solutions, baseband units and radios.

The two companies have presumably been working together on this for some time as the so-called “end-to-end solution” is available IMMEDIATELY.

The idea behind the hook-up of course that Samsung and Ciena, by collaborating on hardware and software solutions, have a better chance of getting their 5G feet under telcos’ tables than if they were acting alone.

Specifically, said the official statement, they want to support “increasing volumes of 5G data traffic at the edge and within an increasingly distributed 5G architecture.”

“Samsung’s ability to couple our best-in-class 5G solutions with a leader in transport technologies like Ciena will give customers a solution to address this need,” enthused Wonil Roh, head of product strategy at Samsung’s networks business.

Matt Cook, VP of Ciena’s global partner organization, returned the compliment to Samsung (as well as giving Ciena a pat on the back).

“As both companies are leading innovators in our respective spaces with strong customer bases for these portfolios,” purred Cook, “this powerful collaboration leverages our collective leadership to create best-in-breed 5G networks that are open, scalable and adaptive.”

As with Intel and Juniper, Samsung and Ciena are hardly the biggest players in the telecoms equipment market. China’s Huawei and ZTE, and the Scandinavian due of Nokia and Ericsson, still dominate. It makes sense for smaller players to collaborate if it means offering “end-to-end” solutions that can take on the big boys.

To be fair to Samsung though, helped in part by Huawei’s departure from various 5G markets, it’s doing a fine job of snaring 5G contracts all by itself. Vodafone UK, KDDI, NTT Docomo and Verizon are among its big 5G customer wins in recent months.

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