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October 18, 2018

Samsung Buys Network Analytics Startup

George Leopold

Looking to build up its AI portfolio, Samsung Electronics said it is acquiring Spain’s Zhilabs as it charts its transition to 5G wireless networks supporting Internet of Things devices with the Spanish company’s AI-based network and service analytics.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The South Korean electronics giant did say it would retain Zhilabs’ executive team and that the wholly-owned unit would operate independently.

The deal announced on Wednesday (Oct. 17) gives Samsung an AI automation capability as it prepares to roll out data-heavy 5G networks expected to connect IoT devices and the sensor data they generate. The deployment of “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, president of Samsung Electronics’ networking business.

Founded in 2018, Barcelona-based Zhilabs specializes in real-time network analytics platforms.

Samsung announced plans in August to boost investments in AI, 5G wireless and automotive electronics components over the next three years.

Those investments dovetail with South Korean plans to pour a reported $2 billion into R&D as part of national AI strategy that aims to move South Korea among the global leaders in AI technology by 2022.

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