Intel 5G Vision: A Perfect Storm of Innovation

5G is a game-changing congruence of innovation bringing together a perfect storm. Newly accessible spectrum and air interface are enabling ultra-fast wireless communications. Legacy networks are evolving to become software-defined networks (SD-WANs)—offering opportunities for new services along the way. Ultra-reliable, low-latency communications (URLLC) are enabling a new set of use cases for ...enterprises operating in data-centric environments. Key to the success of it all, is the embedding of compute capabilities and intelligence across the network—from edge to cloud. From a data-centric perspective, services and processing can exist in any area of the network. From a network perspective, Intel truly plays an end-to-end role, offering a suite of products in collaboration with companies like Nokia and Ericsson—their base stations are built on a foundation of Intel technologies and are powering the first wave of 5G roll outs. As the roll-outs continues, the next wave of innovation is in the core network, where network function virtualization (NFV) has taken hold. Much of that core network is already built on Intel technologies, delivering on the promise of 5G through world-class compute, storage, networking, and AI acceleration that will unleash innovation on the road ahead.

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5G is a game changer. It's really the congruence of different factors that are coming in. There's innovation happening on different fronts. They're just bringing together sort of a perfect storm for innovation.

So there's innovation on the air interface and on the wireless side, so think of new spectrum and new air interfaces which allows for really, really fast over-the-air speeds that are almost wireline-like, and then on the other side, once you get over-the-air, there's a transformation of the network that's going on as well. The network's evolving towards more of a software-defined network, and the network build out towards the edge of the network really provides a platform for new innovation and new services that are about to come, so 5G is really special.

Right around the corner will be the approval of the 3GPP release 16 specification, and that's going to really allow the industry to innovate around what is called Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications, or URLLC, which will enable, really, a different set of use cases for us as end users, but also for the enterprise. When we talk about a data-centric environment with a lot of data now being generated through the 5G devices, the key is having compute capabilities across the network and having intelligence across the network.

So think of networks in the past as primarily used for transport purposes, and now, with the introduction of Intel-based platforms, you really have intelligent nodes across the entire network, and you have intelligence where you want the intelligence to be and not just in centralized areas. And so from a data-centric perspective, you can now put services, you can now put processing in any area of the network that you want to, which would make sense on an Intel platform working with a number of different suppliers across the ecosystem.

From an overall network perspective, Intel truly plays an end-to-end role across the network, and Intel offers a suite of products in the space where we've been working with companies like Nokia and Ericsson to have their base stations incorporate a number of Intel technologies, and these are the base stations that have actually powered the first wave of the 5G rollout. And then as 5G rollout continues, the next area of innovation is actually in the core network. NFV has actually taken stronghold in the core now, and a lot of the core network is actually built on Intel technologies and Intel compute and processing platforms in the core network.

Intel, with its world-class compute, storage, networking, and acceleration, including artificial intelligence, are the bases in the foundation. We see compute now with 5G being pervasive, not just in device, but across the network. And we see the ability to have compute in the network where it makes sense to have the compute capabilities reside.

We're going to bring computing across the network and really put compute where it should be to maximize the overall experience and service for the network. We have hundreds of ecosystem partners in our Intel Network Builder's program that are across OS vendors, application vendors, hardware vendors, system vendors, and system integrators to help pull together all these solutions. We feel that we're in a very, very good position, probably the best position to deliver on these 5G promises.

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