5G: Qualcomm acquires network management specialist Cellwize

Qualcomm wants to remember the good memories of radio access network managers. To do this, the American giant has just acquired Cellwize, with the aim of enriching its portfolio of products dedicated to 5G radio access networks and network infrastructure. The chipmaker announced this operation on Monday, the amount of which was not disclosed. This will be intended to “enhance Qualcomm’s 5G infrastructure solutions to power the digital transformation of industries, power the connected smart edge, and support the growth of the cloud economy,” according to the company’s chief executive. .

Rumors of a transaction had been circulating for several weeks already, with some analysts estimating that the transaction would be completed for $300 million. Founded in 2013, Cellwize specializes in the development of cloud-based, artificial intelligence (AI)-based radio access network (RAN) automation and orchestration technologies, intelligent non-real-time RAN controllers (RIC non RT) and service management and orchestration systems (SMO).

The company operates under its CHIME platform, which connects traditional radio access network systems, vRAN and open RAN to applications for “5G and open RAN readiness”. Cellwize’s customer portfolio would today include more than 40 major international mobile operators. Cellwize previously raised $56.5 million in funding. Qualcomm Ventures, the company’s investment arm, had participated in the Series B funding round.

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According to Durga Malladi, head of cellular modems and infrastructure at Qualcomm, the acquisition is intended to serve as a reminder of Qualcomm’s central role. According to the latter, the American giant can “no longer be defined solely as a communications company serving a single sector”.

If Qualcomm owes a large part of its notoriety to its range of Snapdragon mobile processors, Qualcomm wishes to surf on this transaction to remind that it is above all a “processor company for the connected intelligent edge, serving multiple new end markets and allowing the growth of the cloud-connected economy”.

The acquisition of Cellwize should notably enable Qualcomm to enrich its offer with an automation and management software for improved radio access networks, an ecosystem for customizable applications in many sectors and an architecture of flexible radio access networks capable of supporting open RAN, V-RAN (virtualized networks) and traditional networks. Qualcomm believes that the operation will allow it to “give network operators the possibility of choosing between several suppliers while guaranteeing interoperable automation between them”.

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