Qualcomm Technologies

Qualcomm collaborates with NEC to develop open and virtualised 5G

Mobile chip giant partners with IT and network technologies provider to fast-track commercialisation and accelerate adoption of 5G open and virtualised infrastructure at scale

Maintaining the promise that it made at the beginning of the year to raise the bar in its 5G portfolio, Qualcomm Technologies has entered into a strategic collaboration with NEC to development a 5G open and virtualised distributed unit (DU).

The companies have joined forces to address the demands of next-generation networks, simplify deployments and lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) by delivering high-performance, open radio access network (O-RAN)-compliant, energy-efficient, virtualised, cloud-native 5G solutions.

Network operators currently face the difficult challenge of deploying cost-effective 5G network infrastructure while addressing the complexities and demands of next-generation networks that are needed to enhance user experiences. The Qualcomm and NEC partnership aims to address these issues by developing a high-performance, O-RAN-compliant and power-efficient solution that will simplify and lower the cost of 5G deployments.

In addition, the companies believe that by combining NEC Corporation’s experience as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies with Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in developing high-performance and low-power application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) 5G solutions for device and infrastructure products, they will redefine how mobile networks are designed.

The unit is powered by the Qualcomm X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card and will be central in the transition towards modern networks, developed under the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem (OREC) initiative, which is led by NTT Docomo with the objective to globally accelerate Open RAN.

“We are excited about Qualcomm Technologies and NEC Corporation partnering to develop new-generation, cloud-native 5G RAN technology,” said NTT Docomo general manager, radio access network development department, Sadayuki Abeta. “The development of 5G open and virtualised DU solutions will help drive our OREC activities to make 5G RAN deployment more open and flexible with industry leaders.”

Katsumi Tanoue, general manager, second wireless access solutions division, at NEC Corporation, said: “With the growth in open and virtualised networks, the integration of Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms within NEC O-RAN products will provide a tremendous advantage to our customers, who demand high-performance and power-efficient solutions for nearly any application.”

“The Qualcomm X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card aims to deliver lower power and best-in-class performance to meet demands at the edge and capture new revenue opportunities. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies,” added Tanoue.

Durga Malladi, senior vice-president and general manager, 5G, mobile broadband and infrastructure, at Qualcomm Technologies, said: “With the significant opportunity poised by open and virtualised RAN, Qualcomm Technologies is committed to driving more innovative and competitive cellular infrastructure to enable operators and industry verticals to efficiently deploy 5G network coverage and capacity where it is needed most with our comprehensive Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms.

“Joining forces with NEC is at the heart of advancing the cellular ecosystem and accelerating the innovation cycle to enable the fast-tracking of deploying modern networks at scale.”

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