Intel sees 5G as not just about faster internet speeds for smartphones. It sees this as an opportunity to play a significant role in the 4th industrial revolution.
On Monday, Intel Corp, the world’s second biggest chip maker by revenue, announced new partnerships and chips.
Although Intel got into the wireless data business with the acquisition of Infineon, a German modem maker in 2011, competition has become increasing cutthroat midst competition from MediaTek Inc and Qualcomm Inc, and to top that margins are also much lower than what Intel is accustomed to making on its flagship processor chips.
According to Bob Swan, Intel’s chief executive, Intel’s future lies in 5G networks; these are largely expected to roll out this year. 5G networks, significantly faster than the current 4G networks, extends beyond just selling modems to phone makers.
Intel plans on selling models to carmakers as well for their use in connected vehicles. They also plan on selling the modems for use in connected industrial equipment.
“Where investors have been most anxious is, we were catching up for a while. Catching up, in their minds, means not making any money,” said Swan at a press event in Palo Alto, California ahead of the Mobile World Congress conference being held in Barcelona, Spain. “Now we’re at a stage where we believe we have products that are as good as anybody in the industry’s as we move into 5G.”
Today, at the conference Intel stated it had reached a deal with Arcadyan Technology Corp, Fibocom Wireless Inc, and other network gear makers, to include Intel modem chips in modules and gateways that will help industrial equipment connect with 5G networks.
Intel has also introduced new programmable chips that will compete against Xilinx Inc.
Intel is also aiming to sell versions of its flagship processors for use in 5G base stations, which help carry mobile phone signals back to core networks. It has already entered into deals with Ericsson and ZTE Corp who have agreed to use Intel processors in their 5G networking gear.