NTT Ltd. and Qualcomm: Transforming 5G and AI at the Edge

Discover how NTT Ltd. and Qualcomm are reshaping the 5G landscape and advancing AI at the edge in this groundbreaking partnership.

NTT Ltd., a prominent company specializing in IT infrastructure and services, has recently unveiled a strategic collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a global leader in semiconductor technology. This partnership aims to invest in and expedite the development of the 5G device ecosystem, particularly to facilitate the adoption of private 5G networks, which plays a pivotal role in enabling edge AI capabilities.

Over a span of several years, NTT and Qualcomm Technologies will place significant emphasis on advancing the development of 5G-enabled devices. This initiative seeks to accelerate innovation in conjunction with global enterprise clients, thereby serving as a driving force for widespread adoption of private 5G networks within the enterprise sector. According to estimates by IDC, the private 5G market is poised to surpass $8 billion by 2026. Combining Qualcomm Technologies’ expertise in application-specific semiconductors and 5G chipsets with NTT’s leadership in private 5G, this partnership aims to fortify the 5G ecosystem, enhance AI processing capabilities at the edge, and stimulate innovation across various industries.

Empowering the 5G Device Ecosystem:

With enterprises increasingly embracing digital transformation, there is a growing demand for enhanced connectivity and an expanded array of devices. NTT and Qualcomm Technologies intend to leverage their collective knowledge and capabilities to meet the rising need for 5G-enabled devices. These devices will support a variety of use cases, including push-to-talk devices, augmented reality headsets, computer vision cameras, and sensors deployed at the edge in sectors such as manufacturing, automotive, logistics, and more.

Shahid Ahmed, Executive Vice President of New Ventures & Innovation at NTT Ltd., expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing that it will address client demands and provide the required 5G devices in a straightforward and cost-effective manner, thereby empowering clients on their digital transformation journeys. Ahmed also noted that this partnership with Qualcomm Technologies will accelerate the adoption of private 5G networks across global industries.

Enabling AI Adoption at the Edge:

To achieve widespread AI implementation that can significantly impact enterprise operations and bottom lines, AI processing must occur in a hybrid manner—both in the cloud and at the network’s edge. Qualcomm Technologies’ silicon incorporates built-in AI and machine learning models, positioning it well to support the growth of AI capabilities at the edge. Qualcomm Technologies has experience in scaling AI technology across a wide range of devices and applications, spanning smartphones, laptops, sensors, automotive solutions, and networking.

Jeffery Torrance, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Connected Smart Systems at Qualcomm Technologies, emphasized that Qualcomm’s 5G chipsets are well-prepared for the extensive adoption of AI applications at the edge. Working in conjunction with NTT, they aim to drive transformative changes across the 5G device ecosystem. Torrance noted that NTT’s insight into customer needs, coupled with Qualcomm Technologies’ semiconductor expertise, will empower original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to create devices catering to a diverse range of use cases and customers.

Enhancing AI at the Edge:

Qualcomm Technologies and NTT are set to collaborate in delivering 5G-ready devices equipped with Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G chipsets featuring integrated AI models. These devices will bolster AI capabilities at the edge, supporting various applications, such as image recognition. These applications will encompass tasks like item counting, object attribute identification, and verification of individuals wearing safety equipment like masks and hard hats (PPE). Deploying AI applications via NTT’s Edge as a Service offering will assist enterprises in enhancing workplace safety, optimization, and security.

Device as a Service:

As an integral part of NTT’s comprehensive Edge as a Service offering, the company now offers managed services for Device as a Service. This service simplifies customer access, upgrades, and recycling of 5G and edge devices, streamlining device lifecycle management while reducing IT maintenance and costs. The cost-effective monthly fee model eliminates the need for substantial upfront capital investments, making it more convenient for enterprises to deploy edge devices at scale.

The strategic partnership between NTT Ltd. and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. marks a significant milestone in the evolution of 5G technology and the advancement of AI at the edge. Their collaborative efforts promise to reshape the 5G device ecosystem, enabling enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation journeys. With a focus on developing cutting-edge 5G-enabled devices and harnessing the power of AI at the edge, this collaboration not only drives innovation but also addresses the evolving needs of industries worldwide. As we look ahead, it’s clear that this partnership will play a pivotal role in ushering in a more connected, efficient, and sustainable future, where the possibilities of technology are boundless.