Samsung’s Big Push into O-RAN Equipment Market to Put Pressure on MTI, Sercomm

Samsung has recently joined the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), the highest decision-making body in the O-RAN Software Community (SC) with the goal of becoming a key player in O-RAN development. 

The company also announced that it had signed a US$1 billion long-term contract with DISH Network Corporation (DISH-US), a U.S. satellite communications provider. 

The move will put considerable pressure on MTI Technology Co. Ltd. (2314-TW) and Sercomm Corp. (5388-TW), two O-RAN equipment suppliers, in the future. 

After joining the TOC, Samsung will work with six major carriers, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, Orange, NTT Docomo, and TIM, as well as five major equipment vendors, Allyson, Nokia, Windriver, Radisys, and Viavi, to develop an open-source code and development path for O-RAN. 

In addition to gaining a foothold in software and standardization, Samsung has also made significant inroads into O-RAN equipment supply, recently partnering with DISH to provide virtual radio access networks (vRAN) and radio units (RU) that support FDD and TDD modes. 

This move will put pressure on MTI Technology, which actively supplies DISH RU’s. 

MTI Technology’s O-RAN RU Radio Frequency Modules are mainly used by Japan’s Lotte Telecom and DISH. The latter is currently waiting for customers to pass the certification before the volume is expected to be released. 

MTI Technology said that the FDD RU equipment overlaps with Samsung RU products. Still, in addition to FDD equipment, the company is also actively developing TDD products to grab the O-RAN market pie. 

In addition to RU, Samsung may also be targeting the active antenna unit (AAU) market, such as small base stations. 

At present, the fastest-growing O-RAN, Lotte Telecom AAU equipment, is provided by Sercomm. Now that Samsung is making frequent moves in the equipment market, Sercomm is likely to face competition from Samsung. 

With the advent of the new O-RAN generation, the network communications market has opened up new market demand for white label switches and small base stations, giving Taiwan’s network communications manufacturers new opportunities. 

However, as O-RAN development is gradually taking shape, many large equipment vendors are also entering the market simultaneously, and Taiwan companies with integrated software and hardware solutions are expected to maintain their competitiveness to compete with the big players. 

— Translated by DB, cnPOST