Qualcomm snaps up Israeli start-up Cellwize to boost 5G business

14 Jun 2022

Image: © Askar/Stock.adobe.com

The deal, reportedly worth $350m, will give Qualcomm access to Cellwize’s 5G RAN automation and management platform.

Qualcomm has acquired Israeli mobile network automation and management start-up Cellwize Wireless Technologies to further strengthen its position in the 5G radio access network (RAN) space.

While financial details have not been disclosed, Israeli news outlets have reported that the deal is valued at $350m.

Cellwize has developed a cloud-native, multi-vendor RAN automation and management software platform.

The acquisition of the company is expected to strengthen Qualcomm’s 5G infrastructure capabilities, with tech that can reduce network deployment time and simplify network management.

The move comes at a time when operators and businesses around the world are racing to deploy 5G networks “at an unprecedented pace”, according to Qualcomm’s Durga Malladi, with the objective of connecting “everyone and everything to the cloud”.

Malladi, who is senior VP and general manager of cellular modems and infrastructure at Qualcomm, said that the Cellwize deal strengthens Qualcomm’s ability to drive the development of the modern 5G network, accelerating Open RAN global adoption.

Well-known for its expertise in semiconductors, California-based Qualcomm is also a strong player in the wireless technology space – owning patents critical to 5G communications.

“We are excited to join Qualcomm Technologies as we are both committed to accelerate the mission to modernise radio access networks and enable mobile network operators and enterprises to fully realise and monetise their digital transformation,” said former Cellwize CEO Ofir Zemer.

Following the acquisition, Zemer has now taken up the position of vice-president of product management at Qualcomm.

“Qualcomm can no longer be defined only as a communications company serving one industry,” Malladi wrote in a blogpost about the acquisition.

“We are a leading connected processor company for the connected intelligent edge, serving multiple new end markets and enabling the growth of the cloud-connected economy.”

In 2020, Qualcomm invested in Cellwize through its investment arm, Qualcomm Ventures.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic