Intel on Monday said it will work with Reliance Jio to develop 5G networking technology.
Intel’s venture capital unit had last year invested $250 million (about Rs 1,857.42 crore) in Reliance’s Jio Platforms unit and said the two companies would explore areas of technology partnership. On Monday, Intel said it would work with Reliance Jio on “co-innovation” for its 5G radio-access network (RAN), among other things.
“It’s the fruit of that partnership,” Naveen Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms group at Intel, told Reuters in an interview. 5G is going to happen in a big way in India, and (Reliance Jio) is doing it in a non-legacy way.”
Reliance Jio is one of several carriers around the world using a new approach to build 5G networks. Rather than using gear primarily from telecommunications-specific firms such as Nokia, Ericsson or Huawei, carriers are moving toward using software to handle more network tasks and those used in data centers to run networks. Similar standards are exploiting computing equipment.
Intel, for its part, is losing share in its core data center and personal computing markets to rivals like Advanced Micro Devices after years of manufacturing problems. But networking chips have become a significant part of its business, accounting for $6 billion (about Rs 44,577.27 crore) of its $77.9 billion (about Rs 5,78,756.61 crore) in total sales, a 20 percent increase in 2020.
Dan Rodriguez, general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms group, said part of that growth has come from Intel’s decision nearly a decade ago to invest in an operating system’s software for its network chips. The system, called FlexRAN, lets carriers or software firms write code for 5G networks.
Intel said Monday that Cohair Technologies’ software could double the use of some network spectrum using Intel’s chips, benefiting carriers that spend billions getting spectrum rights.