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NEC enhances 5G with Blue Danube Systems acquisition

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NEC Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Blue Danube Systems.

As a privately held company, Blue Danube is a US-based provider of CBRS/4G/5G RAN products and AI/ML-based software that support mobile operators with their 5G network buildouts and spectrum optimisation.

Once completed, the acquisition will bolster NEC's customer support capabilities and assets in North America. It also adds to the range of its Open RAN solutions portfolio.

The news comes as NEC continues to invest in its 5G business through organic and inorganic initiatives, in line with its "mid-term management plan 2025."

"Blue Danube's 5G products complement our Open 5G solutions portfolio, enabling us to meet growing market demands and accommodate diversified use cases," said Shigeru Okuya, senior vice president of NEC Corporation.

"This acquisition is a great opportunity for us to expand our 5G offerings and will bring substantial value to our customers. NEC has committed to a leadership position in Open RAN network development and this move extends our physical reach and innovation roadmap to deliver on that commitment."

Blue Danube will join NEC with a team that builds onto NEC's global 5G R&D capabilities, as well as the company's patented beamforming technologies.

Additionally, the soon to be merged company will accelerate NEC's expansion of RAN software portfolio to help customers address issues related to spectrum efficiency, RAN optimisation and reducing network operational expenditure.

The deal is expected to close in March 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

In related news, January saw Vodafone switched on the UK’s first 5G OpenRAN site in Bath. As part of the company's long-term roadmap Vodafone says its plans to deploy OpenRAN 4G and 5G antennas from Samsung and NEC by mid-2022, as part of its ongoing interoperability testing.

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