Samsung had previously announced an investment of $22 billion over the next three years in AI, 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics announced the acquisition of Spanish artificial intelligence-based network and service analytics startup Zhilabs, aiming to enhance its 5G capabilities.

The acquisition will allow the Asian company to foster its 5G offerings related to automation and network analytics.

As it announced the acquistion, Samsung highlighted its belief that AI-based automation will play a central role in the introduction of new services in the 5G era, such as industrial internet of things and connected cars, as carriers will require automated solutions and network analytics beyond what was possible in previous generations. AI-based transformation can be used to analyze user traffic, classify application being used, and improve overall service quality, Samsung said.

“5G will enable unprecedented services attributed to the generation of exponential data traffic, for which automated and intelligent network analytics tools are vital,” said Youngky Kim, president and head of the networks business at Samsung Electronics. “The acquisition of Zhilabs will help Samsung meet these demands to assure each subscriber receives the best possible service.”

“5G technology will disrupt the communications landscape for the better, but it will only be successful if the quality of the networks transferring the information can be measured and improved to provide a best-in-class experience,” said Joan Raventós, CEO at Zhilabs. “We are delighted to be joining the Samsung Electronics family and adding a contribution with our software products and technology to the existing end-to-end solutions that the company offers its customers.”

Samsung confirmed that Zhilabs, which will be fully owned by the South Korean firm, will operate independently under its own management.

In addition to the acquisition, Samsung said that it will continue to strengthen its automation solutions that measure the quality of each user service and can also automatically optimize service quality without human intervention.

In August, Samsung Electronics announced plans to invest KRW 1.5 trillion ($1.3 billion) through 2022 to finance a range of studies about future technologies such as AI, IoT and 5G networks. The plan is in line with Samsung Group’s announcement to invest more than $22 billion over the next three years to in four new growth engines – artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals.

The South Korean conglomerate said that this investment would also serve to create 40,000 jobs across its global footprint. In South Korea, Samsung says its investment will create some 700,000 additional jobs in related industries and businesses.

In AI, Samsung plans to expand its research capability, increasing the number of advanced AI researchers to 1,000 across its global AI Centers. The company also said that it “will also invest aggressively to become a global player in the advanced markets for 5G chipsets and related devices and equipment.”

In semiconductors, Samsung will expand investments in manufacturing hubs to and meet significant new demand from applications in AI, 5G, data centers and automotive electronics.

Samsung will also increase the scale of its “Smart Factory” program, an initiative that provides automation solutions and intelligent upgrades for small and medium enterprises’ manufacturing facilities.

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