Samsung Networks and Japanese operator KDDI have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine their technical and business expertise, introduce an array of commercial 5G services and assess new business models based on network slicing technology.
Samsung and KDDI noted that network slicing represents a market with strong business potential, citing Fortune Business research predicting the market will grow at over 50% annually from 2023 to 2030. Earlier in 2023, the two companies conducted a field trial, successfully completing service-level agreements for assurance network slicing on a live 5G standalone network in Tokyo, Japan. With this new strategic alliance, the companies said that together they will drive the next phase of network slicing innovation to advance next-generation use cases and business models that can enhance user experiences and transform industries.
KDDI offers 5G and internet of things (IoT) services to individual and corporate customers in and outside Japan through its Au, UQ Mobile and Povo brands. Its mid-term management strategy is to promote a satellite growth strategy to strengthen the 5G-driven evolution of its telecoms business and the expansion of focus areas centred around telecommunications.
Specifically, KDDI is focusing on digital transformation (DX), finance, energy, life transformation and regional co-creation. To promote DX, KDDI said it’s assisting corporate customers in “bringing telecommunication into everything” through IoT to organise an environment in which customers can access using 5G without being aware of its presence, and in providing business platforms that meet industry-specific needs to support customers in creating businesses.
Pointing to key use cases to be exploited through the collaboration, the firms said operators such as KDDI could create a low-latency slice for automated vehicles, an IoT slice for smart factories and a high-bandwidth slice for live video streaming – all in the same network. This means a single network can support a broad mix of use cases simultaneously, accelerating the delivery of new services, and meeting the tailored demands of various enterprises and consumers.
“KDDI has been at the forefront of network slicing innovation, and we are excited to take another significant step forward with Samsung to show how this technology can augment 5G experiences for consumers and businesses,” said Toshikazu Yokai, chief network officer, managing executive officer and deputy general manager of the technology sector at KDDI. “Through the strategic alliance, we not only aim to create new and immersive use cases, but also explore the infinite potential in transforming industries.”
In the 5G arena, Samsung offers a product portfolio spanning vRAN 3.0, Open RAN and Core to private network services and artificial intelligence-powered automation tools.
“Combining Samsung’s strong technical expertise and KDDI’s business acumen, this new alliance will help us facilitate innovation with a shared commitment to keep advancing 5G to the next level,” said Junehee Lee, executive vice-president and head of global sales and marketing for networks business at Samsung Electronics. “We look forward to expanding our collaboration with KDDI to fully tap into the numerous opportunities that 5G network slicing offers.”