Last year, Intel’s venture capital unit invested $250 million in Reliance Industries Ltd’s Jio Platforms unit, stating that the two companies would find areas of technological collaboration.
Intel Corp announced on Monday that it will collaborate with Reliance Jio of India to develop 5G networking technology.
Last year, Intel’s venture capital unit invested $250 million in Reliance Industries Ltd’s Jio Platforms unit, stating that the two companies would find areas of technological collaboration. On Monday, Intel announced that it will collaborate with Reliance Jio on “co-innovations” for its 5G radio-access network (RAN), among other things.
“This is the fruit of that partnership,” said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s data platforms group, in an interview with Reuters. “5G is going to be massive in India, and (Reliance Jio) is doing it in a non-legacy way.”
Reliance Jio is one of many carriers around the world that is utilising a novel approach to the construction of 5G networks. Rather than relying on telecommunications-specific equipment from companies like Nokia, Ericsson, or Huawei Technologies Cos, carriers are shifting toward using software to handle more network functions and standard computing equipment used in data centres to run the networks.
After years of manufacturing problems, Intel has been losing market share in its core data centre and personal computing markets to rivals such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc. However, networking chips have become an increasingly important part of its business, increasing by 20% in 2020 to account for $6 billion of its total sales of $77.9 billion.
According to Dan Rodriguez, general manager of Intel’s network platforms group, part of that growth can be attributed to Intel’s decision nearly a decade ago to invest in software akin to an operating system for its network chips. The Flex RAN system allows carriers or software companies to write code for 5G networks.