Samsung acquires Barcelona-based Zhilabs to grow its 5G capabilities

Gerald Bowen
October 20, 2018

Expect more 5G and AI-related deals from Samsung after it said "it would explore and invest in other business opportunities powered by the emerging technologies" in today's press release.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 005930.KS said on Wednesday it had acquired artificial intelligence technology firm Zhilabs to enhance its 5G capabilities, marking a major push into the 5G market.

Mum's the word on the acquisition price for now, but we do know Zhilabs will be fully owned by Samsung, nonetheless operating independently under its own management.

To that end, a whopping KRW 25 trillion ($22 billion) investment in the areas of artificial intelligence, 5G, automotive electronics components, and biopharmaceuticals was announced a couple of months back, along with "additional" investments in semiconductors and displays to "maintain global leadership".

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"AI-based automation will play a central role in the introduction of new services in the 5G era, such as industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and connected cars, as carriers will require automated solutions and network analytics beyond what was possible in previous generations", Samsung said in its news release.

Founded in Spain in 2008, Zhilabs focuses on solutions that measure service quality and automate network operations by analyzing network operation and performance, and data traffic on networks.

Samsung is the fourth largest telecom network maker after Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia.

In the Samsung news release, Youngky Kim, the company's head of networks business, said that 5G "will enable unprecedented services attributed to the generation of exponential data traffic, for which automated and intelligent network analytics tools are vital". "Samsung Electronics will actively expand its 5G infrastructure with global telecom operators based on cooperation with Zhilabs".

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