NEC struck a deal to acquire system integrator Aspire Technology Unlimited for an undisclosed sum, a buy the Japanese technology giant cited as further increasing its ability to provide end-to-end open RAN systems.

Republic of Ireland-based Aspire Technology sells system integration technology and consulting services to operators covering network technologies from 2G to 5G. It covers traditional and open architecture, but has been a vocal advocate of open RAN in recent years.

NEC hailed the acquisition as enhancing its Open Networks line, pointing to expertise gained in the design and integration of legacy and open systems given Aspire Technology’s “unique skills” in this area.

In its statement announcing the deal, NEC added Aspire Technology works with leading operators, vendors and other systems integrators in EMEA and the Americas, including tier-one communications service providers.

It also runs an open networks lab.

NEC already has what it describes as an “industry-leading ecosystem” of open RAN products. The vendor has a number of deals in place with operators on trials and deployments of network technology based on the architecture.

“The addition of Aspire Technology strengthens NEC’s system integration offering for open RAN 5G applications, which require an increased level of systems design and integration when compared with legacy ecosystems,” it noted.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month.