Samsung today announced it would be providing the backbone for 3 when it rolls out its 4G network in the UK.
The deal is Samsung’s first commercial mobile network deployment in Europe, which will see it install an LTE radio access network (RAN) along with a number of key back-end infrastructure components necessary for 4G roll-out.
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It will also be responsible for installing new base stations across the UK and all the kit involved with making them operational.
“[Our] customers will start benefiting from this investment in our core network early next year, and those benefits will grow further as we deploy new spectrum,” said Dave Dyson, CEO of 3. “Samsung’s advanced network technology will help us to continue to deliver the most enjoyable smartphone experience.”
Samsung and 3 will trial the network as early as this year, but it won’t be fully operational until later in 2013. This works with the operator’s schedule for roll-out of its 4G network though, which isn’t expected to begin until September next year.
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It was announced this week that 3 had secured a portion of 1800MHz spectrum from Everything Everywhere, just after Ofcom had announced it would allow the spectrum to be liberalised and used by the operator for 4G services.
EE had to sell off some of the band following a European Commission stipulation, put in place when the company was formed out of the merger of Orange and T-Mobile back in 2010.
However, even though it has to sell it off, the spectrum doesn’t have to be cleared and made ready for 3’s use until September 2013, meaning that although 3 has spectrum ready for 4G, it can’t incorporate it into its network for at least another year.
This isn’t stopping 3 from being prepared though.
“This contract is a demonstration of 3’s desire to provide the best possible service and solutions for its customers,” said Mark Thompson, sales and marketing director for Samsung’s European network operations – the division formed in 2011 to push for more mobile deals in the region.
“Currently, one in four LTE connections globally are brokered through Samsung’s LTE infrastructure. 3 will be the first of many European operators to benefit from this wealth of experience.”