Sam­sung ac­quires US firm for progress in 5G

Korean tech gi­ant com­pletes deal with TeleWorld So­lu­tions

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Kim Yoo-chul [email protected]­re­

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics has ac­quired a U.S.-based tele­com firm, pro­vid­ing wire­less and con­sult­ing ser­vices, to bet­ter deal with the sat­u­rated smart­phone mar­ket and take the lead in the race for a big­ger share of fifth-gen­er­a­tion (5G) net­work equip­ment sales.

In a state­ment, the tech heavy­weight said it had com­pleted the ac­qui­si­tion of TeleWorld So­lu­tions (TWS). Sam­sung said it will uti­lize TWS’s 5G ser­vices to bet­ter con­struct the next-gen­er­a­tion wire­less in­fra­struc­ture.

Sam­sung de­clined to elab­o­rate about the cost of the ac­qui­si­tion, which is widely re­garded as a “lowkey” but “clear” move for speedy and con­tin­u­ous progress in the promis­ing 5G mar­ket.

“The ac­qui­si­tion of TWS will en­able us to meet mo­bile car­ri­ers’ grow­ing needs to im­prove their fourth-gen­er­a­tion (4G) and 5G net­works, and even­tu­ally cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­hance our ser­vice ca­pa­bil­i­ties for our cus­tomers,” Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Cheun Kyung­whoon said in the state­ment.

“Sam­sung will con­tinue to pro­vide cus­tom­ized and op­ti­mized ser­vices for var­i­ous net­work de­ploy­ments that ac­cel­er­ate U.S. 5G net­work ex­pan­sion.”

Thanks to the ac­qui­si­tion, Sam­sung will be able to of­fer its con­sult­ing ser­vices to TWS clients, a key point of the buy­out as it will not have to in­vest more for new clients at a time when 5G is go­ing be­yond just mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity.

Sam­sung is fo­cus­ing more on less vo­latile and sus­tain­able busi­ness-to-busi­ness (B2B) seg­ments, as while it is the global leader in smart­phones, tele­vi­sions and mem­ory chips, it has long been a mi­nor player in 5G net­works.

The ac­qui­si­tion comes as the leader in the 5G net­work equip­ment sec­tor, Huawei, is los­ing its lus­ter in the United States over grow­ing con­cerns, prop­a­gated by Wash­ing­ton, that it has close links with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. While Huawei is deny­ing such claims, the grow­ing U.S. pres­sure is ex­pected to of­fer Sam­sung a chance to in­crease its pres­ence in the U.S. 5G mar­ket.

Sam­sung wouldn’t com­ment on cur­rent U.S. im­port con­trols against the Chi­nese com­pany, as Huawei is also a client buy­ing its ad­vanced sen­sor chips and dis­plays.

As of 2018, Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics held only a 6.6 per­cent share of the global tele­com equip­ment mar­ket, com­pared with the Chi­nese firm’s 31 per­cent. Its tar­get for this year is 20 per­cent. South Korea’s SK Tele­com is Sam­sung’s big­gest cus­tomer for net­work gear while in the U.S., it has been sell­ing 5G net­work equip­ment, in­clud­ing base sta­tions and small cells, to top-tier tele­com oper­a­tors AT&T, Ver­i­zon and Sprint.

Given the suc­cess­ful na­tion­wide com­mer­cial de­ploy­ment of some pre-stan­dard 5G net­works here, a plus fac­tor in terms of track record, com­pany of­fi­cials said the ac­qui­si­tion will fur­ther boost its 5G pres­ence.

The tim­ing of the ac­qui­si­tion looks pos­i­tive for Sam­sung’s as­pi­ra­tions in 5G be­cause its key mem­ory chip busi­ness is see­ing clear signs of im­prove­ment thanks to the grow­ing need for con­sumer prod­ucts that of­fer high-speed and faster data pro­cess­ing.


Emily Becher, se­nior vice pres­i­dent and head of Sam­sung NEXT Global, speaks about 5G in­ter­con­nected cities dur­ing a key­note speech be­fore the CES tech show in Las Ve­gas, Jan. 6.

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