June 21 (Reuters) – Intel Corp (INTC.O) announced Monday that it will work with India’s Reliance Jio to develop 5G networking technology.
Intel’s venture capital unit invested $ 250 million in Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RELI.NS) Jio Platforms unit last year, saying the two companies would find areas of technology partnership. On Monday, Intel announced that it will be working on “co-innovations” with Reliance Jio for its 5G radio access network (RAN), among others.
“This is the result of this partnership,” Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the data platforms group at Intel, told Reuters. “5G in India is going to be massive, and (Reliance Jio) is doing it in a non-legacy way.”
Reliance Jio is one of many operators around the world using a new approach to building 5G networks. Rather than using mainly equipment from specialized telecommunications companies such as Nokia (NOKIA.HE), Ericsson (ERICb.ST) or Huawei Technologies Cos (HWT.UL), operators are turning to the use of software to manage more network functions and operate the same type of standard IT equipment used in data centers to operate networks.
Intel, for its part, has lost shares of its core data center and personal computing markets to competitors such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.O) after years of manufacturing problems. But network chips have become an increasingly important part of its business, growing 20% in 2020 to account for $ 6 billion of its $ 77.9 billion in global sales.
Dan Rodriguez, general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms Group, said part of that growth came from Intel’s decision nearly a decade ago to invest in software similar to a operating system for its network chips. The system, called FlexRAN, allows operators or software companies to write code for 5G networks.
Intel said Monday that software from Cohere Technologies could double the use of part of the network’s spectrum using Intel’s chips, to the benefit of operators who spend billions to acquire spectrum rights.
Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman
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