Samsung is looking to grab a top-three slot in the 5G mobile networks business by making a quick move into markets like the US. Currently tech majors Nokia, Huawei and Ericsson are leading the market in the network business.
The 5G wireless network is expected to offer data speeds tens of times faster than 4G technology, while enabling futuristic products such as self-driving cars and smart gadgets.
Like Samsung, major network firms are targeting the US market as the country is forging ahead with plans to open spectrum for 5G. Among others, South Korea and Japan are also working hard to deploy 5G.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has already started working on the definition of 5G networks, scheduled to go commercial by 2020. 5G network speeds will be showcased at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, where Korean telecommunication company KT will demonstrate its technology.
"We plan to move quickly and want to be at least among the top three with 5G," Kim Young-ky, Samsung's network business chief told Reuters, "It's important to get in early."
By 2020 Samsung is targeting more than 10 trillion won ($8.6 billion) in annual sales of 5G equipment, according to a spokesperson. The company wants to partner with Verizon for the commercialisation of the technology. Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel are also working with Verizon on 5G wireless technology. Verizon is planning to conduct field tests before the technology is deployed on home broadbands in the US by 2017.
Kim said the fixed wireless broadband market could be worth tens of billions of dollars, but analysts believe it could be difficult for Samsung to convince carriers to increase orders. "The network equipment business is a B2B business where the barrier to entry is high," said CJ Heo, fund manager at Alpha Asset management.