Cloud computing and virtualisation firm VMware has acquired Uhana, an AI startup that uses machine learning to help telecom companies optimise their networks.
Stanford spin-out Uhana is expected to form a part of VMware’s Telco Cloud and Edge Cloud portfolio, helping telecom customers make the transition to programmable and virtualised 4G and 5G networks.
Though mainly known for products which partition single servers into multiple virtual machines, VMware is emerging as a leading telco cloud vendor with big ambitions for 5G. This follows the formation of recent partnerships with AT&T and Vodafone.
“Our intent to acquire Uhana and to add Uhana’s technology to VMware’s Telco Cloud and Edge Cloud portfolio further demonstrate our commitment to serving the telecom industry and deepening intelligence in the journey to 5G” said VMware in a blog post.
Cloud-enablement, said VMware VP Alex Wang, is “the key to success” for communications service providers, and AI is critical to optimising the efficiency of cloud networks.
“As users demand higher speed and quality of service even as organisations prepare to make the journey to 5G, the ability to intelligently accelerate and analyse networks and applications is critical to success,” said Wang.
Promising speeds up to 200 times faster than current networks, commercial 5G is set to cause large-scale disruption, creating great opportunities for companies that can secure an early foothold in this new environment.
Though this deal is on the smaller side, several of the biggest names in tech are also closing in on start-ups with expertise in 5G networks. Apple has announced that it will buy Intel’s 5G mobile modem business in a deal worth $1 billion, and networking hardware firm Cisco has announced the purchase of 5G firm Acacia communications for $2.84 billion in cash.