The AI-RAN Alliance, a telecoms sector initiative to integrate AI into cellular technology to advance radio access networks (RAN), was launched on Monday (26 February) at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The alliance brings together members from technology, industry and academic institutions, with notable founding members including Amazon Web Services, ARM, Microsoft, SoftBank and NVIDIA.

Founding members also include telecoms giants Ericsson, T-Mobile and Samsung.

The alliance will explore the use of AI to bolster the efficiency of RAN infrastructure, which will help create new business opportunities as 5G and 6G become widespread.

The alliance also aims to reduce power consumption and update existing infrastructure to support these new opportunities. Additionally, the cross-industry group seeks to improve spectral efficiency (the speed at which information can be transmitted over a given bandwidth) for mobile users.

Telecoms companies in the alliance will take the lead in testing and implementing these new technologies, which have been developed through the collective research efforts of member companies and universities.

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“AI will fundamentally change the way wireless services are deployed and enable broad innovation and operational efficiency across the telco sector,” senior vice president of Arm, Mohamed Awad, said in the lead-up to the announcement.

“The AI-RAN Alliance brings together industry-shaping companies with expertise from silicon through software to deliver on the promise of ubiquitous AI and 6G,” he added.