Samsung is looking to have at least 20 percent of market share in 5G by 2020. And for that, the company’s willing to spend quite a lot of money, $22 billion to be precise. Youngky Kim, president and head of Samsung’s network business, made the company’s intentions clear during the recently held WSJ D.Live in California. The $22 billion figure was also announced at Samsung’s developer conference.
Samsung to invest $22 billion in 5G and AI
Samsung produces half a billion electronic devices yearly and is the world’s largest electronics maker in terms of revenue. The company also overtook Intel as the world’s largest semiconductor maker last year. However, in network equipment, Samsung is placed fifth, behind Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, and Nokia. In Q2 of this year, Samsung held 11 percent of the 4G network equipment share. The company wants to have a bigger share in 5G and is making early inroads by spending big. Alongside 5G, Samsung will also be looking to bolster its artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, as well as related areas like auto-components.
Speaking at the WSJ D.Live, Kim said that 5G and AI is the perfect next-generation technology combination. Only 5G can unlock the true potential of AI, he said, describing 5G as “oxygen” for AI. “AI needs a lot of data to respond to you,” Kim said. “This amount of data can be provided by 5G, not 4G.”
Samsung recently acquired the networks analytics startup Zhilabs in order to ease the transition from 4G to 5G technologies. The company also signed a partnership agreement with Japan’s NEC to expand the 5G business. For AI, Samsung opened its seventh research center in Montreal earlier this month.
While 5G is likely to be commercialised next year, Samsung will be deploying the network earlier in its semiconductor factory in Austin.