Qualcomm and Capgemini team for private networks

factory 5G from qualcomm
Qualcomm will help Capgemini with the radio access portion of its private network projects. (Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has partnered with Capgemini to help the integrator offer clients “off-the-shelf” private wireless networks. The partners foresee Capgemini pairing Qualcomm’s radio solutions with edge compute resources and core network elements supplied by other vendors.

After launching the industry’s first Release 16 RAN platform for small cells this summer, Qualcomm is focusing on expanding the market for 5G radios. The chipmaker designed its platform to support enhanced ultra-reliable, low-latency communication (eURLLC) and said it is appropriate for both public and private networks. The new small cell chipset supports all commercial global mmWave and Sub-6 GHz bands.

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Capgemini plans to pair Qualcomm’s technology with enterprise networks, cloud connectivity, edge compute and artificial intelligence to create private network solutions for its clients. 

According to Capgemini, three broad themes are driving enterprise adoption of cellular private networks. The first is the need to modernize legacy Land Mobile Radio Systems, which are used across many industries and lack broadband and multimedia capabilities. The second is industry digitization and automation, and the third is the enterprise demand for microservices and network flexibility.

Capgemini said that in addition to system integrators, the private network ecosystem relies on telcos, network IP providers like Ericsson and Nokia, chip vendors like Qualcomm and process and operations experts who understand mechanics and electrical systems. By partnering with Qualcomm, the integrator has at least one of its bases covered. Similar partnerships with other vendors could move the integrator toward a turnkey private network solution.

“This collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies aims to help us provide a simplified yet powerful end-to-end private network solution for clients in all industries,” said Fotis Karonis, group leader of 5G and edge computing, Capgemini. “We envision that more and more companies will be able to benefit from cellular private networks to increase efficiency and speed of innovation.”

"In leveraging Capgemini’s scale and implementation expertise, we are confident that many more companies globally will start looking at what private networks can do for their businesses,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm Europe/MEA, Qualcomm Europe.

Qualcomm defines two different types of private networks: integrated and independent. The primary difference is the control plane signalling and the subscriber function, both of which are handled by the public network in an integrated architecture.

Source: Qualcomm

The chipmaker notes that private cellular networks allow enterprises to use readily available end-user devices that have already been proven in public networks. This could be important to companies that want to upgrade their LMR systems without investing in new handsets.