Samsung and IBM team up to tap private 5G opportunities

The two tech giants are collaborating to develop new edge computing, cloud, and private 5G solutions targeted at the enterprise market.

Wei Shi

December 18, 2020

2 Min Read
Samsung and IBM team up to tap private 5G opportunities

The two tech giants are collaborating to develop new edge computing, cloud, and private 5G solutions targeted at the enterprise market.

Samsung and IBM announced that they have entered a new collaboration to explore opportunities to supply business customers with a range of offerings riding on the technology advancement in 5G, edge computing, as well as cloud computing.

Contributing to this collaboration will be Samsung’s mobile network and mobile device know-how, IBM’s edge and cloud computing as well as AI expertise, and the open architecture from Red Hat, which has been acquired by IBM.

“The transition of communication networks from proprietary architecture to intelligent, software-defined hybrid cloud platforms enables the creation of enormous new value in the 5G and edge era,” said Steve Canepa, Global GM and Managing Director, Communications Sector at IBM.  “5G devices and network solutions from Samsung, along with IBM and Red Hat’s open, hybrid cloud capabilities, can help organizations across all industries accelerate their transformation and solve real business problems, while unlocking the true power of 5G and edge.”

“The move to standalone 5G has accelerated the adoption of IIoT (Industrial IoT) solutions and will require businesses to adopt an edge computing strategy that allows them to manage their IT environments from anywhere,” said KC Choi, Samsung’s EVP and Head of Global Mobile B2B Team. “We are excited to work with IBM to discover how our unique devices, mobile IoT and network solutions can provide frontline workers with access to better data and more actionable insights to take their business to the next level.”

This is not the first time the two companies working together on 5G propositions. In May, Samsung, IBM, and the mobile operator M1 started jointly supporting Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to showcase Smart Factory advancements, including 5G-enabled AI analytics and AR capabilities, as part of Singapore’s “Digital Economy” efforts.

Samsung’s credibility as a viable 5G network vendor for mobile operators has been bolstered recently by its win at Verizon, at the expense of Nokia. The latest collaboration with IBM however is more geared towards the enterprise market with private networks. The focus will be more on developing solutions to help enterprises draw better insights from data at the edge, improve operational efficiency including minimising downtime, as well as increase worker safety. Also in the scope is IIoT opportunities that manufacturers can explore using private 5G or 4G networks as well as mobile devices.

The announcement reads more like a frame agreement than a concrete deal. The companies have not specified projects or enterprises they are working with, or the time frame of the collaboration.

About the Author(s)

Wei Shi

Wei leads the Intelligence function. His responsibilities include managing and producing premium content for Intelligence, undertaking special projects, and supporting internal and external partners. Wei’s research and writing have followed the heartbeat of the telecoms industry. His recent long form publications cover topics ranging from 5G and beyond, edge computing, and digital transformation, to artificial intelligence, telco cloud, and 5G devices. Wei also regularly contributes to the news site and other group titles when he puts on his technology journalist hat. Wei has two decades’ experience in the telecoms ecosystem in Asia and Europe, both on the corporate side and on the professional service side. His former employers include Nokia and Strategy Analytics. Wei is a graduate of The London School of Economics. He speaks English, French, and Chinese, and has a working knowledge of Finnish and German. He is based in’s London office.

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