Why Qualcomm buying Cellwize is the smartest transaction of the year

14 June 2022

In a bid to accelerate its 5G radio access networks (RAN) adoption, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. has acquired network automation company Cellwize Wireless Technologies.

The 5G network deployment, automation and management software platform capabilities will help Qualcomm’s 5G infrastructure solutions to fuel the digital transformation of industries, power the connected intelligent edge and support growth of the cloud economy.

ABI Research calls the deal the smartest industry transaction of the year with Qualcomm being the best fit for Cellwize because of their synergistic technology portfolios, particularly in radio and open RAN. Previously, Cellwise was an acquisition target for companies such as VMware, Nvidia and Intel.

“This acquisition is key for Qualcomm as it complements the company’s offering in the RAN infrastructure and will help Qualcomm accelerate its strategic plan to become a key partner for operators in migrating their network from legacy systems to a true open RAN environment,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at global technology intelligence at ABI Research.

Mavrakis said the acquisition and Cellwize’s RIC/SMO solutions will:

  • Allow commercial adoption of new features by the next-generation standards.
  • Accelerate operators’ agenda for automating networks.
  • Make networks greener.
  • Give Qualcomm access to 800 million subscribers across operators, hyperscalers and OEMs’ infrastructure.

ABI forecasts that RIC revenue will reach $1.65 billion in 2026, driven by consumer and enterprise applications and both near-real-time RIC and non-real-time RIC will further drive the market.

RAN automation benefits

Qualcomm said RAN automation and management software will increase the development of connected intelligent edge through the deployment of 5G private and public networks reducing network deployment time.

Additionally, the Cellwize acquisition will provide flexible RAN architecture solutions, horizontal solutions for simple management of open virtualized networks and a programable solution for ecosystem for differentiation and customizations across several vertical industries.

“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. “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.”

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