Qualcomm acquires Cellwize to accelerate 5G, edge adoption, innovation

Chip giant makes acquisition of 5G network deployment, automation and management software platform with intention of fuelling digital transformation of industries, powering the connected intelligent edge and supporting growth of cloud economy

In a move that has already attracted the support of telcos, cloud providers and other equipment firms, and aiming to accelerate further its standing in 5G radio access networks (RAN) innovation and adoption, Qualcomm Technologies has acquired mobile network automation and management firm Cellwize Wireless Technologies.

Qualcomm said gaining Cellwize’s 5G network deployment, automation and management software platform capabilities further strengthened its 5G infrastructure solutions to fuel the digital transformation of industries, power the connected intelligent edge and support the growth of the cloud economy.

Indeed, Qualcomm anticipates that combining Cellwize’s cloud-native, multi-supplier RAN automation and management platform with its 5G RAN offerings will provide a leading RAN automation and management software solution that will accelerate the development of the connected intelligent edge through the deployment 5G private and public networks by reducing network deployment time and simplifying network management.

The flexible RAN architecture solution encompasses Open RAN, virtualised RAN and traditional RAN, and multigenerational support. It also offers a programmable solution enabling an application ecosystem (marketplace) for differentiation and customisation across several vertical industries and a horizontal solution designed to enable a simple management of multi-supplier ecosystems for open virtualised networks.

“Global mobile operators and private enterprises are deploying 5G networks at an unprecedented pace across industries, with the goal of connecting everyone and everything to the cloud,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice-president and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure, at Qualcomm Technologies.

“The addition of Cellwize’s best-in-class RAN automation technologies strengthens Qualcomm Technologies’ ability to drive the development of the modern 5G network – accelerating Open RAN global adoption, cloud-based cellular infrastructure innovation and 5G private network deployments,” added Malladi. 

Ofir Zemer, former CEO of Cellwize, who now is vice-president, product management, at Qualcomm Technologies, said: “We are excited to join Qualcomm Technologies as we are both committed to accelerate the mission to modernise radio access networks and enable mobile network operators and enterprises to fully realise and monetise their digital transformation.”

Comms technology leaders expressed positivity towards the move. “As the network complexity increases, driven by a wide variety of frequency bands, massive MIMO and multi-vendor disaggregated network (Open RAN), network automation and orchestration is key to manage this complexity and realise operational efficiencies,” said Abdurazak Mudesir, group chief technology officer at Deutsche Telekom.

“We are pleased with this announcement as Cellwize, in which we have been invested through DTCP since 2018, is well positioned to help automate and orchestrate the next-generation network experience. We look forward to continuing working with Qualcomm Technologies and Cellwize on the next phase of automation,” added Mudesir.

Verizon’s chief technology officer, Ed Chan, said: “Verizon has been at the forefront of developing a differentiated 5G network that will serve as the 21st century platform for innovation. RAN optimisation through automation is key in achieving this vision.

“We are very pleased to see Qualcomm Technologies expanding its already innovative infrastructure solutions with the acquisition of Cellwize’s RAN automation and management solution, which we have been utilising as our foundation to the Verizon SON architecture. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies on building the future 5G world.”

Vodafone’s network architecture director, Santiago Tenorio, said: “Network orchestration and automation will play a fundamental role in Open RAN deployments to manage and optimise multi-vendor networks. We are pleased with this announcement and we are looking forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies and Cellwize to test their solution in Vodafone’s network as we ramp up our ORAN deployment.”

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