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Samsung inks Ericsson patent agreement, trials 5G on Play Poland

Korean CE and communications technology giant demonstrates its capability and performance on leading Polish operator’s commercial network as it ends all ongoing patent-related legal disputes with Swedish comms tech provider

In both theoretic and practical boosts to its work in the 4Fg and 5G arenas, Samsung has signed a major technology agreement with Ericsson for a global patent cross-licence of cellular technologies, including 5G, while it has announced that it will be conducting 4G and 5G trials with leading Polish mobile operator Play.

The deal with Ericsson marks the end of a long-running battle between the two parties, ending complaints filed by the firms before the US International Trade Commission (USITC) as well as ongoing lawsuits in several countries.

The details of the agreement are confidential and will not be disclosed but what has been revealed is that Ericsson and Samsung have reached a multi-year agreement on global patent licences between the two companies, including patents relating to all cellular technologies. The agreement covers sales of network infrastructure and handsets from 1 January 2021.

Furthermore, Ericsson and Samsung have also agreed on technology cooperation projects to advance the mobile industry in open standardisation and create what they call “valuable” solutions for consumers and enterprises.

“We are delighted to sign a mutually beneficial agreement with Samsung,” said Ericsson chief intellectual property officer Christina Petersson.

“This important deal confirms the value of our patent portfolio and further illustrates Ericsson’s commitment to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand) principles.”

In the realms of deploying such technologies, Samsung says that in the trial with Play it will verify the capability and performance of 4G and 5G network solutions, which will be carried out in Play’s labs and commercial networks, beginning in the second quarter of this year.

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As a leading mobile network operator in Poland, Play provides mobile voice, messaging, data and video services for both consumers and businesses. The company has over 15 million subscribers across the nation, covering 99% of the Polish population. In the trial, the Samsung R&D Institute Poland, one of the largest research and development centres in the country, will be the base for testing the interoperability between Play’s 2G/3G legacy networks and Samsung’s mobile solutions.

“At Play we are open to the innovative technologies offered by our partners,” said Michał Ziółkowski, management board member and chief technology officer at Play. “The partnership with Samsung is another initiative that allows us to choose the best solutions for the rollout of our network. It is its extension and modernisation that have a direct impact on the comfort of our customers.”

Currently, Samsung operates its Poland R&D centres in Warsaw and Krakow. It leads research in 4G and 5G solutions including radio access network (RAN), core, analytics solutions for self-organising networks (SON) and network function virtualisation (NFV) cloud solutions. In the trial Samsung will provide its latest 4G and 5G solutions – including 4G radios, 5G Massive MIMO radios and baseband units – on low and mid-band spectrums.

Samsung’s 5G Massive MIMO radios have been commercially deployed since 2019 and are currently in operation across the globe. In addition to easy installation and quick deployment for mobile operators, Samsung claims these solutions also increase coverage and boost data speeds in order to enrich 5G experience for users.

The company’s baseband unit are designed to offer improved performance with enhanced capacity and throughput, while supporting both 4G and 5G frequencies in a single unit. With this solution, Samsung assures that operators can increase flexibility in network management and achieve cost efficiency.

“Samsung is pleased to work with Play in delivering 5G services, and excited to demonstrate our network capabilities in Poland,” said Thomas Riedel, head of Europe, networks business at Samsung Electronics.

“This trial will serve as a meaningful milestone for the two companies’ collaborative efforts in Poland. Leveraging our advanced 5G solutions and technical leadership, we will continue to expand our global and European presence with leading operators like Play to take 5G user experience to new heights.”

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