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Samsung announced it has acquired Zhilabs, a Spanish network analytics company that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor carriers’ network performance and data traffic across myriad services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2008, Barcelona-based Zhilabs offers a flagship product called CustomAir, formerly known as FlowSight, that helps carriers drill down into the network performance experience at the individual subscriber level. It provides insights into messaging (SMS and MMS), data (connectivity, streaming, and apps), and roaming, among other facets of their service, and allows carriers to troubleshoot and prioritize issues based on the direct impact on their business. Crucially, this is all automated.

Zhilabs counts some major telecommunication companies as clients, including Vodafone, Telenor, Telefónica, and Optus.

The 5G push

Samsung, for its part, has made no secret of its intentions in the 5G and AI realms. It’s only a matter of time before it brings 5G devices to the consumer market, and the Korean tech titan has been laying the foundation for this eventuality. For example, it recently set aside $22 billion to invest in a range of transformative technologies, including 5G and AI. Elsewhere, Samsung recently announced the Exynos Modem 5100, a wireless chip that features comprehensive support for 5G devices.

Samsung is already invested heavily in smart home technology, and it is increasingly pushing into connected cars and the broader internet of things (IoT) sphere. Super high-speed, low-latency 5G will be crucial to this success, and being able to measure network quality will play a key role in maintaining performance for devices and software that need to be “always on.”

“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,” noted Zhilabs CEO Joan Raventós in a press release.

Samsung added that Zhilabs will operate as a fully owned subsidiary under Samsung’s stewardship

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

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