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    Virgin Media claims have run 5G network with Samsung in England’s Peak District


    If a milestones passed and no-one sees, did it really happen?

    Samsung and Virgin Media O2 claim they have run live 4G and 5G in sites in the UK. The regions, Tamworth in England’s West Midlands and the Peak District just north of the East Midlands were used to complete the first 5G data call on Virgin Media O2’s commercial 5G network.

    In October 2021 Virgin Media O2 asked Samsung to conduct its field trials for these sites. The trials assessed interoperability between Samsung’s 4G and 5G hybrid and standalone systems and Virgin Media O2’s cellular networks.

    Samsung provided a variety of equipment for the tests, including 4G radios, 4G/5G baseband units and 5G Massive MIMO radios. These solutions accommodate between 800 MHz and 3.5 GHz of Virgin Media O2 spectrum. Samsung delivered its 5G Massive MIMO (multiple input multiple output) radios specifically for the operator’s 3.5 GHz spectrum band. Samsung’s radio equipment can be made open RAN compliant, with some modifications. 

    “We look forward to playing a major part of the diversification of the network equipment supply chain in the UK,” said Francis BJ Chun, CEO of Samsung Electronics UK

    “We are pleased to build on our previous collaboration with Samsung, delivering another 5G milestone in our push to developing open RAN technologies,” said Jeanie York, CTO at Virgin Media O2. The field trials also showed Samsung’s Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) capabilities are compatible with Virgin Media O2’s network. DSS allows operators to seamlessly deploy 5G networks within LTE spectrum.