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Qualcomm Acquires Cellwize, Will Spur 5G Adoption

Qualcomm has announced its acquisition of Cellwize Wireless Technologies Pte. Ltd., a prominent Israeli firm in mobile network automation and management for $350 million. Through this, the US tech giant wants to spur 5G development and pace up network infrastructure innovation.

The company expects the deal to make Qualcomm Technologies a leader in 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) innovation and adoption.

Cellwize’s 5G network deployment, automation, and management efficiencies help enhance Qualcomm’s 5G infrastructure solutions. This, in turn, will aid the digital transformation of industries, powers the connected intelligent edge, and promote the cloud economy.

Additionally, the deal is significant for Qualcomm as it seeks to enrich resources to lead in 5G development. IT combines Cellwize’s cloud-native, multi-vendor RAN automation and management platform with Qualcomm Technologies’ industry-leading 5G RAN offering. This will provide the following:

  • Leading RAN automation and management software solution which will accelerate the development of the connected intelligent edge through the deployment of 5G private and public networks. It does so by reducing network deployment time and simplifying network management
  • Programmable solution enabling an application ecosystem (marketplace) for differentiation and customization across several vertical industries
  • Horizontal solution enabling simple management of multi-vendor ecosystem for open virtualized networks
  • Flexible RAN architecture solution (Open RAN, virtualized RAN, and traditional RAN) and multigenerational support

Cellwize will aid Qualcomm’s drive for 5G development

“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, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “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.”  

“We are excited to join Qualcomm Technologies as we are both committed to accelerating the mission to modernize Radio Access Networks and enable mobile network operators and enterprises to fully realize and monetize their digital transformation,” said Ofir Zemer, former chief executive officer, of Cellwize, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Qualcomm is the world’s leading firm in the advancement of 5G to power intelligent edge and enables cloud economy. With its wide 5G RAN services, Qualcomm can lead cellular ecosystems and accelerate the innovation cycle to fast-track the deployment of modern 5G networks.

Also read: Qualcomm, ZTE Unveil The World’s First 5G NR-DC

Industry leaders speak at the acquisition of Cellwize by Qualcomm

“Bell welcomes Qualcomm Technologies’ acquisition of Cellwize as the synergy will help advance the telecom ecosystem by delivering open, cloud-native, and flexible networks to meet the performance demands at the edge. We look forward to continuing working with them on infrastructure and automation innovation to ensure a more customer-centric network of the future,” said Stephen Howe, chief technology and information officer, Bell.

Similarly, Abdul Razak Mudesir, group chief technology officer, Deutsche Telekom also expressed his excitement over the acquisition. He said, “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 realize operational efficiencies. We are happy with this announcement as Cellwize 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.”

“A winning combination …” says HPE Vice President, Product Management

HPE is pleased with this announcement as it helps further consolidate and accelerate our joint value proposition with Qualcomm Technologies and Cellwize, two strategic partners with whom we have been working closely. “HPE’s leadership in Telco infrastructure, specifically in end-to-end automation and operations support systems, together with Qualcomm Technologies leading RAN platform and Cellwize’s RAN Automation and management solution, represents a winning combination to address the RAN disaggregation market opportunity and accelerate its adoption in the Telco Industry,” said Domenico Convertino, vice president, product management, HPE Communications Technology Group. “We are looking forward to continuing working together to provide our customers with new capabilities which will help simplify operations, manage multi-vendor 5G networks, and enable them to deploy 5G faster,” he further added.

“The Microsoft Azure private MEC solution, together with Qualcomm Technologies’ leading RAN platform and Cellwize’s RAN Automation and management solution, represents a powerful combination that will help accelerate 5G adoption and simplify deployment and management of intelligent 5G edges for a broad range of industries and use cases,” said Martin Lund, corporate vice president, Azure for Operators.

Don’t miss: 3GPP Approves Specification of Upper 6 GHz band for 5G

Verizon expresses its delight at the acquisition

Likewise, Verizon felt upbeat about Qualcomm’s new ability to provide more innovative infrastructures for wireless communications. “Verizon has been at the forefront of developing a differentiated 5G network that will serve as the 21st-century platform for innovation,” said Ed Chan, chief technology officer, at Verizon. “RAN optimization through automation is key in achieving this vision. We are very happy to see Qualcomm Technologies expanding its already innovative infrastructure solutions with the acquisition of Cellwize’s RAN automation and management solution. This is also our foundation for the Verizon SON architecture. Likewise, we look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies on building the future 5G world.”

Meanwhile, Vodafone spoke on how network automation could help in RAN management for multi-vendor networks. “Network orchestration and automation will play a fundamental role in Open RAN deployments to manage and optimize multi-vendor networks. We are pleased with this announcement and we are looking forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies and Cellwize. This deal allows us to test their solution in our network as we ramp up our ORAN deployment,” said Santiago Tenorio, network architecture director, Vodafone.

DLA Piper and Fischer (FBC & Co.) acted as lead legal counsel and local counsel respectively for Qualcomm for the takeover. In the meantime, Evercore acted as financial advisors to Cellwize, and Goldfarb Seligman and Co. acted as legal counsel.

About cellwize

Cellwize is an Israeli network automation company with $56 million in investments to date. These investors include Intel Capital, Samsung Next, DTCP, Vintage, etc. The company boasts clients such as Verizon, Telefonica, Movistar, and Bell.

The company is active in 16 countries and has its technologies running in 3 million cell sites.

Cellwize’s platform CHIME provides AI-driven RAN automation that helps boost 5G network deployment. The trend is that most operators around the world have promised faster speeds and low latency to their customers. However, managing multi-vendor cross-technology networks is challenging in mobile networks.

To address this, Cellwize has AI-powered RAN automation that designs, optimizes, and deploys 5G networks. It allows operators to expand their 5G businesses, and promote RAN automation. It also reduces operating costs and helps market 5G services.

Cellwize started service in 2012. Its original founders Daniel Dribinski and Sasi Geva don’t play any part in the company now. The company has 80 employees in Israel and 160 across the world. But it will now be part of a much larger tech firm Qualcomm. As per the data, the US gear vendor employs 45,000 people around the world. They include hundreds of people in Israel in R&D centers in Haifa and Hod Hasharon. Meanwhile, the company boasts a market cap of over $150 billion.

What do you think of global tech leaders pushing for rapid development and adoption of 5G? Do you think we really need it, or we are still far from needing it for justifiable use of it? Do offer your inputs in the comments below.

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