BARCELONA: CHIPMAKER Intel has taken to this year's Mobile World Congress to wax lyrical about its 5G plans that involve partnering with the biggest names in the networking industry to start trialling the next-gen technology.
Many view 5G as a speed boost for mobile internet, but Intel isn't quite so sure. The firm expects the technology to bring a "network revolution" that will allow the growing number of connected devices to reach their full potential. Intel expects this number to hit 50 billion by 2020.
To make this vision a reality, Intel is pushing forward with plans to converge computing and communications and make wireless networks more intelligent, efficient and flexible, claiming that it's the perfect company to do so given that it has fingers in so many pies.
Intel can't do it alone, though, and announced during MWC on Monday that it will collaborate with some of the biggest names in the networking industry, such as Huawei, Nokia and Verizon, on networking technologies and trials to ensure that 5G arrives as soon as possible. The collaboration has already begun in the case of Verizon.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said during a separate keynote at MWC on Monday that this could be as early as 2018, sooner than Ofcom's promise of a 2020 rollout.
Other companies involved in the 5G push include AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT Docomo, Telefónica, Vodafone, ZTE, Ericsson, Korea Telecom and SK Telecom.
Intel claimed that the firm is uniquely positioned to usher in the 5G era with end-to-end solutions that integrate intelligence across the network, from the data centre to the connected device and all systems in between.
Aicha Evans, general manager of Intel's Communications and Devices Group, said: "Communications are not going away, and we believe it's our responsibility as an ecosystem to make the networks ready [for 5G].
"It's about getting together and making sure we're developing trials and prototypes and taking advantage of major events that are going to present an opportunity to demonstrate the tech.
"Building on our existing portfolio of wireless products, new modems and SoCs will provide robust connectivity solutions for Internet of Things, mobile devices and PCs toward our path to 5G."
Intel has announced new modems and SoCs to ensure the early prototyping of 5G, including five solutions aimed squarely at IoT devices such as connected cars and wearables, and the Intel XMM 7480 for mobile devices and PCs.
This LTE-A modem reduces development cost, complexity and time to market, according to Intel, supporting 33 LTE bands and download speeds of up to 450Mbps, and boasting up to 15 percent less power consumption than the XMM 7360. µ
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