Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has laid claim to being leaders in 5G, as the company seeks to make up for missing out on the LTE era.
At an analyst conference, Krzanich said he thinks Intel is the leader in 5G today, despite the mobile technology’s current lack of existence. He said Intel’s modem technology is world class, and wants to capitalise on that going towards 5G.
“We believe we’re leaders in 5G right now, both in the base station and in the connectivity portion,” he said.
While vendor supremacy claims are nothing new, it seems like a surprising move by Krzanich to claim Intel is leading the way in 5G, especially when there is still such a high level of uncertainty. The decline of some parts of its mobile business is fairly common knowledge, having missed out almost entirely on mobile during the birth and maturity of LTE to competitors ARM and Qualcomm, as well as Apple’s SoCs.
In April, Intel announced it was cutting 12,000 employees – roughly 11% of its workforce – to refocus on IoT and cloud. At the time, its mobile division was incorporated into its client computing business, ostensibly an attempt to conceal its losses.
“We think 5G is going to be a big transition. We believe it allows us to work much better with our telco providers to base station work and grow our networking silicon there. But we’ll be cautious on the phone business which means that’s why you saw us take away some of the low end phone products. This wasn’t exiting mobile all together. We still got a modem. We’re very strong,” he said, in reference to its Infineon division.
While Krzanich made the 5G leadership claim, Intel’s communications and devices GM, Aicha Evans, published a post essentially declaring Intel all-in.
“Intel is focusing on three key areas: industry partnerships, end-to-end 5G-related hardware and software development, and supporting 5G standards-setting,” she said. “We are pushing hard to create end-to-end solutions from the device to the network to the cloud. We are accelerating prototype solutions through efforts like Intel’s 5G mobile trial platform and are working with standards-setting bodies such as 3GPP and IEEE on defining the 5G standards to ensure a smooth path and entry to a faster and smarter pace of connectivity.”
Evans was rumoured to have handed in her resignation in April as speculation over the future of Intel’s mobile division intensified, however Krzanich convinced her to stay and lead the charge on 5G, according to Bloomberg. Judging by the comments made by both, Intel is targeting a rebirth in mobile, and wants to make sure it doesn’t miss out on the next era as it did the last.