Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft and T-Mobile US were among a group of major players to sign-up as founding members of the AI-RAN Alliance, a body charged with pushing use of AI to transform radio infrastructure.

Other members of the group include SoftBank Corp, Arm, Nvidia, AWS, US institution Northeastern University and Deepsig, a start-up focused on exploring machine learning application for wireless technologies.

The alliance’s remit includes research around the use of AI to improve the efficiency of RAN infrastructure and aiding the creation of new business opportunities in the 5G and 6G eras. Among its priorities are cutting power consumption and the ability to retrofit innovations into existing infrastructure. It is also targeting use of the technology to improve spectral efficiency.

Ahead of the AI-RAN Alliance launch at MWC24 Ronnie Vasishta, SVP for Telecom at Nvidia, said it will focus on building the “capabilities, advantages and functional benefits of AI into the RAN ecosystem”.

Vasishta identified the lack of data on AI as a challenge in driving a wider deployment of the technology, noting: “The data availability has been somewhat restricted, even though the collection is there, so what we really want to do is to create an environment where data can be shared to enable AI to be more efficient”.

“AI will fundamentally change the way wireless services are deployed and enable broad innovation and operational efficiency across the telco sector”, added Mohamed Awad, Arm SVP and GM.