Ericsson Acquires Niche AI Workforce For India Centre
The Ericsson AB logo sits on a flag as it flies outside the company’s data networking devices factory in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photographer: Peter Kollanyi/Bloomberg)

Ericsson Acquires Niche AI Workforce For India Centre

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Ericsson AB has acquired workforce of Niche AI for its Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence centre, and is looking for more buyouts to build a team of 150 engineers for India operations this year, a senior company official said.

The Swedish telecom gear maker started its India wing of Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator last year to develop open-source solutions to modernise its telecom network, using AI and machine learning.

“We’re looking at both organic hiring, one by one through recruitment off the market, as well as what you might call as inorganic, which is more through acquisitions and acquihires (acquiring only talents),” Sanjeev Tyagi, head of Ericsson R&D Bengaluru, told PTI. “One such company that we have acquired is Niche AI.”

Ericsson plans to have a team of around 300 highly qualified engineers in GAIA by the year-end of which half are expected to be in India.

“We continue to be on our target and towards our objective we have hired more than 75 engineers between Bangalore and Chennai and with a couple of dozen more expected to join in the coming months and we continue to recruit actively,” Tyagi said.

The company is acquiring talents from companies for GAIA and not their assets like patents, clients etc.

Tyagi said that as 5G technology starts spreading, there will be huge proliferation of internet-of-things devices and large number of different elements in the network, which can be efficiently managed only through AI and machine learning-like technologies, for which GAIA is developing solutions.

“The exponential growth in IoT devices will mean that the traditional methods of managing networks are no longer going to scale and that is an area where we are going to need self-organising, self-healing, self-governing networks using AI and ML (machine learning),” Tyagi said. “We’re also looking at leveraging machine learning techniques to optimise the volume of signalling needed between a 5G handset and the radio base station so as to conserve battery life.”

He didn’t disclose financial details of the Niche AI acquisition.

“We have been evaluating companies based on size, their core competence, the capabilities of the engineering team, cultural fit, and several other parameters. Niche AI was one company that we found suitable on all fronts. The size of the acquisition itself is small and that is something we found across the board. NicheAI ‘acquihire’ was in single digits in terms of the size of the workforce,” Tyagi said.

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