Intel on Monday said it’ll work with Reliance Jio to develop 5G networking technology.
Intel’s venture capital unit last year invested $250 million in Reliance’s Jio Platforms unit, saying both the companies would find areas of technology partnership. On Monday, Intel said it’ll work on “co-innovations” with Reliance Jio for its 5G RAN, among other things.
“This is the fruit of the partnership,” Navin Shenoy, executive VP and GM of the data platforms group at Intel, told Reuters in an interview.” 5G in India goes to be massive, and (Reliance Jio) do it in a very non-legacy way.”
Reliance Jio is one among many carriers around the world using a new approach to create 5G networks. instead of using gear primarily from telecommunications-specific firms like Nokia, Ericsson, or Huawei, carriers are shifting toward using software to handle more network functions and tapping identical standard computing equipment utilized in data centers to run the networks.
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Intel, for its part, has been losing share in its core data center and private computing markets to rivals like Advanced Micro Devices after years of producing troubles. But networking chips became an increasingly important part of its business, growing 20 percent in 2020 to account for $6 billion of its $77.9 billion in overall sales.
Dan Rodriguez, GM of Intel’s network platforms group, said a part of that growth has come from Intel’s decision nearly a decade ago to take a position in software like an OS for its network chips. The system, called FlexRAN, lets carriers or software firms write code for 5G networks.
Intel said Monday that software from Cohere Technologies could double utilization of some network spectrum using Intel’s chips, benefiting carriers that spend billions acquiring spectrum rights.