Samsung has signed a deal with Three to provide the operator with infrastructure for 3G and 4G services.
The deal is the manufacturer's first commercial mobile network rollout in Europe and will involve providing an LTE Radio Access Network and 3G/LTE core infrastructure. Samsung will deploy LTE base stations, including systems and network support, across Three's network from later this year.
After a 2012 trial, Samsung will move to fully deploy the infrastructure during 2013. Earlier this week, Three bought 1800MHz spectrum from Everything Everywhere, which should be cleared for use by September 2013 by the latest. The 4G spectrum auction will take place early next year.
Three UK CEO David Dyson said: 'Three’s 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. Samsung’s advanced network technology will help us to continue to deliver the most enjoyable smartphone experience. In Samsung’s home market operators are busy turning off 2G. In the UK, Three is the only operator without a 2G network which means more and more consumers are choosing the network built for the internet.'
Samsung said one in four 4G connections globally is through its LTE infrastructure. Youngky Kim, executive VP and general manager, telecommunication systems business at Samsung Electronics, said: 'This contract marks a significant milestone for Samsung and further demonstrates our commitment to the European market. Samsung has been active in developing and commercialising data-specialised mobile solutions since the early 2000s, and has accrued significant experience in LTE projects around the globe. We are bringing the full weight of this experience to our deployment with Three UK, and trust this will mark the start of many successful relationships with leading mobile operators based in Europe.'
Among the operators Samsung works with to provide LTE infrastructure are Sprint and MetroPCS in the US, KDDI in Japan and Mobily in Saudi Arabia.
Editor: Graeme Neill