Korea’s Samsung Electronics has reportedly landed a contract with US operator Verizon Communications worth $6.6 billion.
According to a Yonhap News Agency report, Samsung said it will supply network solutions, including 5G, for the next five years until December 2025.
The contract is apparently the largest ever network equipment deal for a South Korean company and equates to 3.43% of Samsung’s total sales in 2019.
Samsung has had smaller contracts with AT&T and Sprint, as well as network equipment contracts in Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
Samsung and other local equipment companies launched the first commercial 5G network in South Korea in April last year.
Assuming all goes well, Verizon should prove an amazingly powerful reference customer, and good for the wider Korean economy, as Samsung said it has obtained 40 to 60% of the specifically 5G-related parts from local vendors.
The US accounts for about a quarter of global network investment.
As the tide has turned against the world’s biggest network equipment maker, Chinese giant Huawei, largely due to rulings by the Trump Administration on the grounds of security, operators around the globe are looking for other options
Yonhap cites IHS Markit research that says Huawei was the leading player in the global 5G equipment market last year with a 26.2% share, followed by Sweden’s Ericsson with 23.4% and Samsung with 23.3%. It looks like the gap is closing.