By Mike Robuck

Qualcomm boosts private 5G with Microsoft deal

Qualcomm is looking to turbocharge and simplify the deployment of end-to-end 5G private networks by teaming up with Microsoft.

Among a slew of announcements at MWC22 Barcelona on the opening day, Qualcomm President and CEO Cristiano Amon unveiled his company was developing a chip-to-cloud solution that will be paired with Microsoft Azure.

“This is a significant announcement,” Amon said. “It is an easy way to help enterprises scale their 5G ambitions and their edge computing ambitions as well.”

While Qualcomm is also working with Microsoft on the 5G connected PC side with its chips, the network collaboration will combine Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G technologies and hardware ecosystem with Azure private multi-access edge compute (private MEC), including Azure Private 5G Core.

To speed deployments of private 5G networks, Qualcomm and Microsoft are building pre-validated, private connectivity architectures. According to Amon, working with Microsoft will not only boost industrial IoT, as well as other enterprise applications, but also 5G connected PCs.

Amon also announced that Qualcomm planned to commercialise 5G open and virtualised integrated distributed unit and radio unit solutions with its mmWave 5G performance capabilities to drive the move towards next-generation 5G mobile infrastructures.

On that front, Qualcomm has teamed up with Fujitsu – within NTT Docomo’s 5G OREC initiative – to address the demands of modern networks, streamline deployments and lower the total cost of ownership by building open RAN-compliant, energy-efficient, virtualised, cloud-native 5G solutions.