Between October 26th and 27th, the communications world was informed of 4 major deals between global technology companies. A close analysis of these deals will reveal that they were signed to enable deployment of and security for 5G.
These deals were mostly signed by equipment and semiconductor makers on capitalizing the strengths of cloud technology provided by the software development firm. It is obvious that as 5G continues to gain traction, CSPs would require cloud-native networks to improve the flexibility and efficiency of deploying services into new verticals faster. It is believed that CSPs can only achieve this with a cloud-first automated network designed to simplify management and operations while lowering operational costs.
Patrick Filkins, IDC senior research analyst says that investments in 5G will continue to accelerate globally, and over time, CSPs will expand their focus on delivering Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) to include Ultra-Reliable Low-latency Communications (URLLC) and Massive Machine-type Communications (mMTC), leveraging new core, edge and RAN infrastructure.
To efficiently and simultaneously support these new services, CSPs are best-served adopting cloud-native architectures that can provide service agility, accelerated innovation, and end-to-end optimization to meet today’s and tomorrow’s customer requirements.
And to meet those demands, global tech companies are ensuring that they are partnering or are making the right acquisitions at the right time to complement capabilities and expedite the delivery of 5G based products and services.
So, let’s take a look at the significant 5G alliances, collaborations, and take-overs that happened in 2 days.
Alliance: VMware and Samsung to co-accelerate CSP’s transformation to 5G
VMware collaborated with Samsung Electronics. Through this alliance, the companies seek to help Communication Service Providers (CSPs) meet the requirements of 5G networks and accelerate the roll-out of 5G by optimizing Samsung’s portfolio of telco offerings from Core to Edge to RAN for both containerized network functions (CNFs) and virtualized network functions (VNFs) with VMware Telco Cloud Platform.
Both Samsung and VMware intend to co-accelerate the innovation cycle through better network design end-to-end, and support the agility required for 5G networks. With VMware Telco Cloud Platform, CSPs can deploy a cloud-native, software-defined 5G network that will accelerate the delivery of services and applications across distributed telco clouds with operational consistency, integrated lifecycle management and multi-layer automation while maintaining carrier-grade performance, scalability and reliability.
As part of this collaboration, the companies have been working together at Samsung’s lab to optimize and accelerate the readiness of Samsung’s various VNFs and CNFs, such as vRAN, 5G Core, MEC, Management, and Analytics, with the VMware Telco Cloud Platform. Samsung’s VNFs and CNFs have been and continue to be integrated with VMware’s Ready for Telco Cloud program. The VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program will support Samsung to accelerate the onboarding and deployment of their 5G-ready services on the VMware Telco Cloud Platform, thereby enabling CSPs to accelerate their time to deploy and time to revenue.
“With innovative and open 5G networks beginning to transform the landscape, Samsung sees the value in delivering carrier-grade solutions with VMware that help CSPs easily embrace cloud-native technology and efficiently deliver our network functions and services across their 5G networks with automation,” said Wonil Roh, Senior Vice President and Head of Product Strategy, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics.
“The infrastructure supporting 5G will depend on virtualized and containerized network functions delivered from software-defined telco and edge cloud platforms,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager, Telco and Edge Cloud Business Unit, VMware. “We are thrilled to be working with Samsung to deliver carrier-grade solutions that leverage the VMware Telco Cloud portfolio to help CSPs seize this 5G moment and transform themselves into leading technology innovators.”
Acquisition 1: AMD acquires Xilinx
This is a deal that reinforces the USA’s dominance in advanced computing technologies. NASDAQ-listed companies AMD and Xilinx entered into a definitive agreement for AMD to acquire Xilinx in an all-stock transaction valued at $35 billion.
The combination is expected to create the industry’s leading high-performance computing company, significantly expanding the breadth of AMD’s product portfolio and customer set across diverse growth markets where Xilinx is an established leader. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to AMD margins, EPS and free cash flow generation and deliver industry-leading growth.
The acquisition brings together two industry leaders with complementary product portfolios and customers. AMD will offer the industry’s strongest portfolio of high-performance processor technologies, combining CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, Adaptive SoCs, and deep software expertise to enable leadership computing platforms for cloud, edge and end devices. Together, the combined company will capitalize on opportunities spanning some of the industry’s most important growth segments from the data center to gaming, PCs, communications, automotive, industrial, aerospace and defense.
AMD President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Su believes that the acquisition of Xilinx marks the next leg in AMD’s journey to establish the company as the industry’s high-performance computing leader.
With a combined team of 13,000 engineers and over $2.7 billion of annual1 R&D investment, AMD will now have an additional talent set and will want to scale to deliver an even stronger set of products and domain-specific solutions.
Xilinx, in fact, recently introduced its Zynq RFSoC DFE, which is claimed to be a breakthrough class of adaptive radio platforms for 5G NR wireless applications. The offering combines hardened digital front-end (DFE) blocks and adaptable logic to build high performance, low power, and cost-effective 5G NR radio solutions for a broad array of use cases ranging across 5G low-, mid-, and high- band spectrum.
Acquisition 2: Akamai Technologies advances 5G security strategy with acquisition of Asavie
This deal is mainly intended to expand the company’s ability to protect enterprise mobile and cellular devices in an increasingly ‘office anywhere’ environment
Akamai Technologies Inc., the intelligent edge platform for securing and delivering digital experiences, acquired Asavie, whose global platform manages the security, performance and access policies for mobile and internet-connected devices.
Asavie is a privately-funded company headquartered in Dublin. It automates and manages private networks for businesses at scale, and its solutions are sold by top global mobile network operators.
Asavie’s mobile, IoT and security solutions will now become part of Akamai’s Security and Personalization Services (SPS) product line sold to carrier partners that embed the solution within the technology bundle sold to their subscribers.
Asavie automates the creation of self-serve, private, network-based services that secure access from mobile and internet-connected devices to applications and data without requiring installation and management of client software.
This clientless architecture is considered to be well-suited for regulated verticals, such as healthcare, financial services, and education. Many of these industries are transitioning to a secure ‘office anywhere’ environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and benefit from a rapidly installable, scalable, and cloud-managed solution.
“We believe the addition of Asavie will help Akamai’s carrier partners address enterprise and mid-market customer demand for IoT and mobile device security and management services,” said Dr. Tom Leighton, chief executive officer and co-founder, Akamai Technologies. “What’s notable about the Asavie solution is that, as more IoT devices connect over cellular and 5G, it has been shown to be very easy to scale and protect them.”
“We expect COVID-19 to have a lasting impact on how employees work and how businesses operate. Network security needs will be required to evolve in a 5G era where the office needs to go wherever employees happen to work,” said Ralph Shaw, Asavie Chief Executive Officer. “The Asavie suite of software-defined solutions is designed to enable enterprises to provide access to business resources while continuously protecting the business in a world of evolving cyber threats targeting mobile devices, users and applications.”
Collaboration: Celona collaborates with Qualcomm and NTTVC for funds
California-based enterprise networking company Celona is on a quest to bridge the gap between LTE/5G cellular wireless and enterprise IT infrastructure. To fulfil that Celona closed a $30 million Series B round of funding. The round was led by NTTVC and Qualcomm Ventures LLC with participation from Celona’s initial investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Cervin Ventures. The new round of financing brings Celona’s total capital investment to date to $40 million USD.
Celona and 4 other startups (Eko, nference, Shoreline, and UDP Labs) are all part of NTTVC’s $500 million fund that has been created to help startups reach rapid global scale by harnessing the power of partnership.
The independent venture capital firm was founded by entrepreneur and investor Vab Goel in collaboration with global technology service provider NTT.
Celona informs that the proceeds from this funding round will be used to fuel the company’s strategic growth initiatives that capitalize on fundamental changes within the enterprise market created by the availability of localized and shared spectrum around the world. This includes the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum in the United States, which is widely viewed as the most significant development in enterprise wireless since Wi-Fi.
“Our goal at Celona is to usher in a new era of enterprise services and applications leveraging 5G and give enterprises their own private mobile networks,” says Rajeev Shah, CEO and co-Founder, Celona. “Our collaboration with NTTVC and Qualcomm Ventures validates our view that making 5G technology fully accessible to the enterprise will have a transformational impact on the future of networking.”
Celona claims to be developing the only solution in the market that fully automates the deployment and operations of private LTE/5G wireless networks within the enterprise.
Celona claims that its AI-ops based architecture enables the integration of cellular wireless functions with existing enterprise IT and cloud infrastructure as an overlay.