Samsung says ola to Zhilabs

The logo of Samsung is seen on a building during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain

Samsung did not disclose the value of the deal, which marks the first announced acquisition in new technologies.

The acquisition will allow the company to further enhance its 5G capabilities whereas AI-based automation will play a central role in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and connected vehicle applications, which will require advanced automated solutions and network analytics. The acquisition aims to bolster Samsung's competitiveness in the fifth-generation network industry, one of Samsung Group's four key growth drivers for the future alongside AI, auto electronics and biologics.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 005930.KS said on Wednesday it had acquired artificial intelligence technology firm Zhilabs to enhance its 5G capabilities, marking a major push into the 5G market. Zhilabs will be operated independently by existing management even after the acquisition, the South Korean tech giant said.

In a vein similar to many other smartphone manufacturers, Samsung is also attempting to get the early bird advantage by adapting and introducing 5G technology, which is the next logical step along the telecom industry.

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The acquisition of Zhilabs is part of Samsung's initiative, announced in August, to invest 25 trillion won (about $22 billion) in businesses working on AI, 5G, components for self-driving vehicles, and biopharmaceutical technologies.

"AI-based automation will play a central role in the introduction of new services in the 5G era, such as industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and connected cars, as carriers will require automated solutions and network analytics beyond what was possible in previous generations", Samsung said in its news release.

Founded in 2008, Zhilabs' products are used by customers including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Vodafone, and Telefonica to analyze and test network performance in real-time.

Samsung is the fourth largest telecom network maker after Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia.

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