As early as the third quarter of this year, KMW is expected to begin supplying Remote Radio Head transceivers to Samsung Electronics’ network business division for its 4G base stations, according to industry sources on April 16.
“We plan on completing the development of the transceivers for Samsung Electronics by the second quarter of this year to begin supplying by the third quarter,” said a KMW official, declining to elaborate on the exact volume to be shipped.
He added that KMW is the single Korean supplier capable of producing parts and transceivers alike for base stations. “We believe we will continue working with Samsung regarding 5G technology as well.”
RRH transceivers contain the base station's RF circuitry plus analog-to-digital/digital-to-analog converters and up/down converters. RRHs also have operation and management processing capabilities and a standardized optical interface to connect to the rest of the base station. The transceivers for Samsung at this time will include the TRX board, a communication chip, RF power amplifier, but will be antenna-less.
The reports of the upcoming deal come as KMW has been avidly adding major-scale clients, including Finnish communications equipment maker Nokia, to which it suppled Massive MIMO Radio (MMR) units for 5G base stations. MMR units are actually the result of selectively merging the functions of the antennae and the RRH transceivers.
The expertise has allowed KMW to look towards domestic tech giants such as Samsung, according to market experts close to the matter. The deal also helped catapult the firm’s revenues.
In 2019, KMW posted sales of KRW 682.9 billion to reflect a 130% rise on-year. Operating profit during this period swung to the black to record KRW 136.7 billion. Broken down, system revenues rose 10x on-year to hit KRW 422.6 billion and account for nearly 62% of its total sales.
Analysts are projecting KMW’s sales this year at around KRW 1 trillion. Hana Financial Investment forecast KRW 1.11 trillion to reflect an 82% yoy increase in a report on April 8. Operating profit was expected to stand at KRW 250.6 billion after growing 74% on-year.
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