Samsing snags network insight firm to boost AI credentials

Samsung has bolstered its 5G readiness with the acquisition of network analytics firm Zhilabs, which uses AI to deliver network optimization insight.

Financials of the deal have not been announced though Samsung did announce it intends to invest $22 billion to boost credentials in artificial intelligence and 5G back in August. Bringing Zhilabs into the mix certainly builds on that promise.

“5G will enable unprecedented services attributed to the generation of exponential data traffic, for which automated and intelligent network analytics tools are vital,” said Youngky Kim, Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “The acquisition of Zhilabs will help Samsung meet these demands to assure each subscriber receives the best possible service.”

“5G technology will disrupt the communications landscape for the better, but it will only be successful if the quality of the networks transferring the information can be measured and improved to provide a best-in-class experience,” said Joan Raventós, CEO at Zhilabs. “We are delighted to be joining the Samsung Electronics family and adding a contribution with our software products and technology to the existing end-to-end solutions that the company offers its customers.”

The firm itself aims to help telcos understand the traffic which is flowing across networks to aid optimization and performance decisions. Zhilabs flagship product, CustomAir, claims to do this for customers with the solution being used to monitor the experience of 200 million end users currently. Zhilabs claims it solution is currently being used by five of the world’s largest telcos, excluding those in China.

Maintaining a positive experience for customers is of course an important metric for telcos to prevent customer churn, though end-to-end encryption makes this difficult. The world is becoming increasingly concerned about data privacy, and using encryption technology to secure information is more common place, though not being able to see the traffic which flows across a network creates a problem for telcos. Zhilabs claims to have machine learning expertise to combat this issue, making it an attractive proposition for Samsung.

While Samsung is not often discussed at the top-table when it comes to telco networking vendors, the trends do seem to be shifting. Huawei is increasingly facing scrutiny over its relationship with the Chinese government, a trend which does seem to be benefitting Samsung. Adding such tools to the armoury will continue to develop this momentum.

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