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NTT and Qualcomm to deliver AI-ready devices and aid private 5G
Fri, 29th Sep 2023

NTT, an IT infrastructure and services company, has announced a strategic engagement with Qualcomm Technologies, a provider of semiconductor technologies, to invest in and accelerate the development of the 5G device ecosystem to facilitate private 5G adoption, which is critical to powering AI at the edge.

As part of a multi-year engagement, NTT and Qualcomm Technologies will prioritize the development of 5G-enabled devices to accelerate innovation with global enterprise customers, a critical catalyst in driving widespread enterprise adoption of private 5G, a market which IDC estimates will exceed US$8 Billion by 2026. 

Qualcomm Technologies' leadership in application-specific semiconductors and 5G chipsets, combined with NTT's leadership in private 5G, will strengthen the 5G ecosystem, advance AI processing capabilities at the edge and spur innovation across industries.

With enterprises accelerating digitization efforts, more connectivity and devices are needed. NTT and Qualcomm Technologies will use their combined expertise to meet the need for 5G-enabled devices that support use cases, such as push-to-talk devices, augmented reality headsets, computer vision cameras and sensors at the edge across the manufacturing, automotive, logistics and other industries. 

“This collaboration is truly an exciting one because we are answering the demand we’re hearing from our clients. Together with Qualcomm Technologies, we will strengthen the 5G ecosystem delivering the devices our customers require in a simple and cost-effective way, empowering them as they continue along their digital transformation journey,” says Shahid Ahmed, executive vice president of new ventures and innovation at NTT. “By working with Qualcomm Technologies, we will further accelerate demand for private 5G across global industries.”

“The proliferation of 5G-enabled devices is a critical component of shaping a more digital and sustainable future. It forms the backbone of many tech advancements that can improve efficiency and sustainability through efficient resource management, energy conservation, and are pivotal for innovation across various industries,” adds Mark Bidinger, president of commercial and industrial segments and channels at Schneider Electric. 

“NTT’s collaboration with Qualcomm represents a significant step forward in advancing private 5G adoption and meeting the unique demands of the Internet of Things and Machine Learning.” 

For AI to scale and impact enterprise operations and organizations' bottom line, AI processing must happen in a hybrid form, in the cloud and at the edge of the network. The silicon that Qualcomm Technologies develops includes built-in AI and machine learning models, making it well-positioned for growing AI capabilities at the edge. Qualcomm Technologies' experience with scaling AI technology allows the company to touch various devices and applications, including smartphones, laptops, sensors, automotive solutions, and networking.

“Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G chipsets are prepared for the widespread adoption of AI applications at the edge and, together with NTT, we’ll enhance innovative change across the 5G device ecosystem.” adds Jeffery Torrance, senior vice president and general manager for connected smart systems at Qualcomm Technologies. “NTT is the voice of the customer and combined with Qualcomm Technologies’ semiconductor expertise, we can enable OEMs to build the devices that will benefit a wide range of use cases and customers.” 

Qualcomm Technologies and NTT will work together to deliver 5G-ready devices with Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G chipsets with AI models built in to enhance AI at the edge through various applications, such as image recognition, with capabilities ranging from counting items and identifying object characteristics to verifying workers wearing safety masks or hardhats (PPE). Deploying AI applications through NTT’s Edge as a Service will assist enterprises with workplace safety, optimization, and security.

As part of NTT’s end-to-end edge as a service offering, NTT now offers managed services for device as a service to make it easy for customers to access, upgrade, and recycle 5G and edge devices, simplify device lifecycle management, and reduce IT maintenance and costs. The cost-effective per-user, per-month fee model means enterprises no longer need to make significant capital investments upfront but consume on a more comfortable monthly fee basis, making it easier for customers to deploy edge devices at scale.