VMware to buy Uhana, to expand into AI for carrier networks

29 July 2019 | Laurence Doe

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VMware will acquire Uhana, a company developing artificial intelligence (AI) for carrier networks and applications, so it can expand the capabilities of its telecoms business.

The software company will gain Uhana’s technology, which it describes as a “real-time deep learning engine” that can optimise carrier network operations and application quality experience. It is also deployable in operators’ private cloud or public cloud infrastructure.

“After the deal closes, with the addition of Uhana’s technology to VMware’s telco and edge cloud portfolio, Uhana will further support VMware’s ability to serve the telecom industry and deepen intelligence in the journey to 5G,” said Sachin Katti (pictured), co-founder of Uhana. VMware has not given a price for the acquisition.

“Uhana’s technology will empower intelligence and analytics for the VMware Smart Assurance and VMware Smart Experience products. At Uhana, our mission is to help operators reduce the cost of network operations and improve operational efficiency, while providing a differentiated application experience for customers.”

In an announcement, Alex Wang, VMware’s VP of corporate strategy and development, said service assurance was “critical” to bridge current services from 4G to 5G and that Uhana “will help to power the VMware Service Assurance portfolio”.

Wang said: “Uhana brings critical talent from Stanford, as well as deep AI and machine learning experience specific to mobile carrier networks and their operations. Uhana’s talent, combined with cutting-edge technology like bandwidth slicing and network intelligence.”

He added that VMware support of the telco industry would “evolve networks through the power of the cloud” for communication service providers and over-the-top providers, adding that the shift to 5G marks the “cloudification” of the telecoms industry.

“As users demand higher speed and quality of service even as organizations prepare to make the journey to 5G, the ability to intelligently accelerate and analyse networks and applications is critical to success,” said Wang. “On behalf of VMware and our telco and edge cloud business unit, I look forward to welcoming the Uhana team to VMware.”

Uhana and VMware have not set a closing date for the deal, but Wang said that he expected Uhana’s capabilities “to round out [VMware’s] telco portfolio” after the transaction ends.