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Industry Leaders in AI and Wireless Form AI-RAN Alliance

Industry Leaders in AI and Wireless Form AI-RAN Alliance

New alliance focused on cutting-edge research and development: unleashing the power of AI to transform radio access network for 5G and upcoming 6G

The AI-RAN Alliance, a new collaborative initiative aimed at integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into cellular technology to further advance radio access network (RAN) technology and mobile networks, was launched today at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Bringing together technology, industry, and academic institutions, the alliance’s founding members include Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), Arm, DeepSig Inc. (DeepSig), Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson), Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft), Nokia, Northeastern University, NVIDIA, Samsung Electronics, SoftBank Corp. (SoftBank) and T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile). The group’s mission is to enhance mobile network efficiency, reduce power consumption, and retrofit existing infrastructure, setting the stage for unlocking new economic opportunities for telecommunications companies with AI, facilitated by 5G and 6G.

Alliance members will leverage their technology expertise and collective leadership to focus on three main areas of research and innovation:

  • AI for RAN – advancing RAN capabilities through AI to improve spectral efficiency.
  • AI and RAN – integrating AI and RAN processes to utilize infrastructure more effectively and generate new AI-driven revenue opportunities.
  • AI on RAN – deploying AI services at the network edge through RAN to increase operational efficiency and offer new services to mobile users.

Network operators in the alliance will spearhead the testing and implementation of these advanced technologies developed through the collective research efforts of the member companies and universities.

Supporting Quotes:

Mohamed Awad, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm, said, “AI will fundamentally change the way wireless services are deployed and enable broad innovation and operational efficiency across the telco sector. The AI-RAN Alliance brings together industry-shaping companies with expertise from silicon through software to deliver on the promise of ubiquitous AI and 6G.”

Jan Hofmeyr, Vice President at AWS, said, “With the software transformation of radio access networks (RAN) using cloud computing, there is a tremendous opportunity for mobile operators to collect all kinds of data at various layers of the stack. This data acting as the fuel for AI, offers to the telecom industry a tremendous opportunity to not only optimize operations of RAN deployments but also revolutionize the way consumers, enterprises and industries interact with mobile networks.”

Jim Shea, Co-founder and CEO of DeepSig, said, “We are honored as industry leaders to join this important initiative that is shaping the future of intelligent radio access networks. As a pioneer in AI-native communications, DeepSig's extensive AI/ML wireless expertise will play a key role in this exciting collaboration to leverage advanced technologies to help the industry unlock unprecedented network efficiency and accelerate innovation.”

Per Beming, Vice President and Head of Standards & Industry Initiatives at Ericsson, said, "Ericsson sees AI-driven RAN automation as a pivotal shift towards enhancing operational efficiency and unlocking cost reduction opportunities. We anticipate that working together in the Alliance alongside operators, infra vendors, and other members, we can collectively leverage relevant data to enable AI use cases that will surface vital insights driving the industry forward. This collaboration marks a step towards a smarter, more efficient future in telecommunications. I firmly believe AI technology is of utmost importance and Ericsson is committed to collaborating with all telecom industry stakeholders equally invested in this transformative journey, marking a collective step towards a smarter, more efficient future."

Jason Hogg, GM, Azure for Operators, Microsoft, said, "At Microsoft, we believe that artificial intelligence (AI) is the defining technology of our time. We are pleased to participate in the AI-RAN Alliance in order to apply AI to help operators optimize their RAN infrastructure investments as well as to extend the role of the RAN to deliver new AI based services that support the needs of modern mobile applications.”

Ari Kynäslahti, Head of Strategy and Technology, Mobile Networks at Nokia, said, “Nokia is proud to join the AI-RAN Alliance and support its efforts to integrate AI into radio access networks. It’s hard to overstate the impact AI will have. It will optimize networks, predict and fix issues, and enhance performance and quality of service. But we are really at the beginning of a long journey and it is imperative we work together to combine our collective expertise and lay the groundwork so that we can all reap the benefits.”

Tommaso Melodia, William. L. Smith Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of Northeastern University’s Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things, said, “The formation of the AI-RAN Alliance marks a pivotal moment in the industry's evolution towards a more open, software-driven, and AI-integrated future. This strategic collaboration is set to fast-track the development of new services and use cases by leveraging the power of openness, softwarization, and AI integration to enhance network performance, energy efficiency, spectrum sharing, and security, ultimately redefining the landscape of global communications.”

Ronnie Vasishta, Senior Vice President for Telecom at NVIDIA, said, “The AI-RAN Alliance marks a critical step toward a future in which the full power of AI and digital twins can be harnessed for mobile networks and the transformation of the telecom industry. The alliance’s work will help accelerate the pace of AI innovation, driving unprecedented levels of efficiency across the industry.”

Charlie Zhang, Senior Vice President at Samsung Research America, said, "Emerging services in the 6G era will revolutionize the way people interact with technology, and AI will be an integral part of this trend. The AI-RAN Alliance will foster collaboration, drive innovation and usher in a new era of transformation around AI and 6G networks. We believe this coalition will create new value for end users and operators through AI-based use cases and innovations.”

Junichi Miyakawa, President & CEO of SoftBank, said, The AI-RAN Alliance has been formed with the vision to spearhead the advancement of society through AI innovations, particularly from the telecom industry. Through our collaborative efforts, SoftBank aims to drive change toward a better future, leveraging the vast potential of AI to enhance every aspect of our lives. We are committed to leading the shift from traditional communication infrastructure to AI-powered next-generation social infrastructure.”

John Saw, EVP & Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile, said, “AI is coming faster than even many of the most ambitious predictions. With our 5G network advantage, we’re in a unique position to capitalize on the opportunity. Developing an ecosystem of AI-based solutions for the design, engineering, and operation of our network and services, with so many category leaders in this Alliance, is a powerful way to accomplish more than we could alone.”

Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer at the GSMA, said, “We welcome the AI-RAN Alliance’s shared ambitions to create new, open platforms that can help democratize the use of artificial intelligence in mobile industry. AI has the potential to deliver huge societal benefits and accelerate technology innovation. However, it’s critical it’s democratized, so all parts of the connectivity industry and their customers, wherever they are in the world, can benefit. We look forward to working with them through GSMA Foundry and other initiatives.”

Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2024

If you are attending MWC and would like to schedule time to see the AI-RAN Alliance demo showcasing the transformative potential of AI in RAN technology, please reach out to ai-ran@apcoworldwide.com

Date: February 26 – 29, 2024 
Location: Arm booth at Hall 2, Stand I60

For more information about the AI-RAN Alliance, please visit https://ai-ran.org/.

Press Office: press@ai-ran.org

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