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How Intel Plans to Boost Adoption of Its 5G Technology


Mar. 15 2018, Updated 4:25 p.m. ET

Intel prepares for Tokyo 2020

Intel (INTC) demonstrated its 5G efforts at Mobile World Congress 2018. The company is also trialing VR (virtual reality) and AI (artificial intelligence), and a glimpse of this was visible at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Intel is now preparing for the next Olympics, which are set to take place in Japan (EWJ). It is working with Japanese telecommunications carrier NTT DoCoMo to build a 5G network before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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Intel’s general manager of 5G Advanced Technologies, Rob Topol, told ZDNet that Tokyo 2020 would be the largest commercial 5G deployment, converging everything from VR[1.virtual reality] to AI [2.artificial intelligence] to drones to 5G. The company aims to create a smart city where cars and city infrastructure are automated and equipped with sensors. It also plans to offer 8K 360-degree video streams and 5G-enabled sensors and services.

Intel looks to 5G in healthcare

Intel Next Generation and Standards general manager Asha Keddy told Forbes that Intel is currently proving its 5G modem use in laptops and tablets. After achieving success in PCs[3.personal computers] and laptops, the company could integrate 5G modems into other technology, such wearables in the healthcare market.

She explained that 5G would support more devices, making health monitoring more effective. Moreover, 5G would reduce latency, making remote surgery possible. Low latency would also enable the transfer of more healthcare data, which could be processed with the help of AI. All this would eventually make healthcare better and cheaper.

Intel’s 5G collaborations

As Intel missed out on industry collaboration, it missed the mobile revolution. It has learned from its mistake and has participated in almost every vRAN (virtualized radio access network) group, including Vodafone’s (VOD) Telecom Infra Project’s OpenRAN group, Cisco’s new Open vRAN group, and the ORAN Alliance, formed from the merger of the xRAN Forum and C-RAN Alliance. Intel has also made some important partnerships:

  • It has partnered with Verizon (VZ) and Nokia (NOK) to develop vRAN architecture.
  • It is working with Telefónica and 5TONIC to increase adoption of the Intel FlexRAN software reference platform.
  • It has partnered with Dell EMC for 5G infrastructure, including vRAN.

SDxCentral, citing Intel Network Platforms Group general manager for 5G strategy Alex Quach, reported that vRAN is crucial to 5G as it enables network slicing. A more virtualized network would enable operators to slice their network and provide these sliced portions for specific customer uses.

Intel is bringing end-to-end 5G solutions, from data centers to edge devices. Next, we’ll look at Intel’s data center business and how it is supporting 5G.


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