Qualcomm jumps into 5G infrastructure market with base station chips

Qualcomm Technologies announced 5G infrastructure semiconductor platforms targeting mobile network suppliers.
Qualcomm 5G chipsetQualcomm is introducing three new 5G RAN platform offerings: Qualcomm Radio Unit Platform, Qualcomm Distributed Unit Platform, and Qualcomm Distributed Radio Unit Platform supporting mobile operators in the deployment of a new generation of converged, open and virtualized RAN (vRAN) networks.

Engineering samples of the new Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms are expected to be delivered by the first half of 2022 for select network vendor customers.

“Our 5G expertise and technology leadership uniquely positions Qualcomm Technologies to provide a comprehensive horizontal infrastructure platform to enable the deployment of 5G networks at scale,” said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm.

5G RAN platforms is designed to allow network vendors to accelerate deployment and commercialization of vRAN equipment and features that address the demands of 5G for both public and private networks.

Qualcomm Technologies’ infrastructure solutions already power the world’s first at-scale deployment of vRAN by Rakuten Mobile in Japan.

AT&T is working with Qualcomm Technologies on future 5G network deployments such as vRAN and open RAN, said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer, network services, AT&T Communications.

BT is the first operator to switch on 5G services in the UK in May 2019.

“Our collaboration with Qualcomm has created ground-breaking capabilities and benefits for our customers and industry verticals such as healthcare and smart ports,” Fotis Karonis, chief technology innovation officer, BT’s Enterprise unit said.

“Qualcomm Technologies will be able to bring power efficient O-RAN solutions to our eco-system,” said Claudia Nemat, board member technology and innovation, Deutsche Telekom.

KDDI launched 5G service in March 2020 and is in the process of rapidly expanding network coverage.

“With higher frequencies used in 5G than previous generations, we view that dense networks are one of the keys in 5G network strategy and open network architecture will enable efficient and flexible dense 5G network deployments,” said Tatsuo Sato, vice president and managing officer, technology planning, KDDI.

KT launched the commercial 5G network in 2019.

“With the new Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms, we expect both companies will work more closely together to provide users with reliable, robust and powerful mobile experiences enabled by 5G,” said Hyeon-Seuk Lee, executive vice president, KT.

“Since the world’s first rollout of a 5G network in April 2019, we are happy to see that our 5G solutions and services are changing the landscape of the entire industry and ecosystem in Korea,” said Sangmin Lee, chief technology officer, LG Uplus.

DOCOMO is driving the activities to make 5G radio access networks more open and flexible with industry leaders.

“As demand for quicker connections and more immersive mobile experiences grows among global consumers, Qualcomm Technologies has helped ensure our customers can experience the highest-quality entertainment on their devices at top speeds,” said Sadayuki Abeta, vice president, general manager, radio access network development department, NTT DOCOMO.

Rakuten Mobile last month launched the Rakuten UN-LIMIT V 5G service on virtualized, cloud native mobile network.

“As we expand our coverage with the support of Qualcomm Technologies’ innovative RAN platforms, Rakuten Mobile will continue to pioneer industry adoption of open, disaggregated networks,” Tareq Amin, chief technology officer of Rakuten Mobile, said.

“Our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies will accelerate the development of a full suite of 5G products and solutions, as Jio continues to support and drive open technologies in RAN,” said Mathew Oommen, president, Reliance Jio Infocomm.

SK Telecom has been focusing on bringing new and innovative customer experiences through mobile cloud gaming, immersive media, remote collaboration, smart factory and enterprise applications.

“We believe that collaborations with diverse industry leaders like Qualcomm Technologies is crucial in order to continue achieving innovations in 5Gd,” said Yoon Kim, chief technology officer, SK Telecom.

SoftBank has been using Qualcomm Technologies’ LTE Small Cell solutions for several years.

“Qualcomm Technologies’ entry into the 5G vRAN/ORAN RU/DU market will drive innovation and create the most efficient ecosystem for global deployment,” said Tomohiro Sekiwa, senior vice president, mobile network division head, SoftBank.

“We are working with the commitment of materializing Open RAN in the form of real deployments of full-fledged 4G/5G networks with superior scalability, flexibility and performance towards our customers,” said Enrique Blanco, global director, systems and networks, Telefonica.

TIM Innovation Lab in Turin held lab trials on open RAN technologies in a multi-vendor environment. This was the last milestone of a significant evolution path started in TIM five years ago with Virtual RAN (V-RAN) trials, said Michele Gamberini, chief technology and information officer, TIM.

Verizon has been at the forefront of developing a differentiated 5G network that will serve as the foundation for the 21st century infrastructure.

Kyle Malady, chief technical officer, Verizon, said: “Virtualization plays a key role in our new architecture, and we are very pleased to see Qualcomm Technologies step into this space.”

Santiago Tenorio, head of network architecture, Vodafone Group, said: “We support a strong vendor ecosystem. Qualcomm  5G RAN Platforms  help accelerate Open RAN deployments worldwide is a positive step in ensuring flexible and interoperable network infrastructure.”