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2020 A Year of Stops and Starts
2020 has been quite different than planned. For us here stateside, it was around mid-February that the Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 started to rare its ugly side and its impacts would soon be felt far and wide.
For many of us in the tech sector, it was just ahead of Mobile World Congress. I remember the weeks leading up to the event it was the question of the day—would we, or wouldn’t we have the massive gathering of the world’s leading mobile and global technology companies to tout their newest wares.
The ultimate decision was no event. And this was the first snowball in a series of cancellations that still remain in effect today. However, with a large dose of sensitivity to the ongoing uncertainty, the world must continue as must business and as an analyst tracking much of the tech sector, this means conversations with tech leaders about the advancements in technology and new offerings that are entering the market to support more connected workforces, advanced mobile experiences and since the onset of COVID-19, dealing with what has become a familiar catch phrase…”Our New Normal”
At MWC, I was set to have a series of Analyst/Executive conversations with leaders across the tech industry. One of which was Intel’s Lynn Comp, VP and GM of Intel Data Platforms Group. While the conversation on the ground of Barcelona was unable to take place, I did have the chance to hop on Video with her to discuss the announcements set to take place at MWC and the impacts of these announcements on mobile, edge, telco and the service providers around the world.
MWC Was About a 5G Inflection Point
The Intel announcements from MWC are well documented, so I asked Ms. Comp to focus more on the meaning behind the announcements as it pertained to Intel’s business and strategy around 5G along with how this represented a pivot or change for the company or the market.
She started out focusing on the inflection point that we have reached for not only 5G, but really for companies delivering mobile services. This is something I couldn’t agree with more. We are no longer in a hardware driven era and this is what Intel is focused on. The mobile networks of the future are built on an architecture that is a lot more like the cloud. This means software defined and virtualized. The service providers that want to be able to monetize networks for enterprise and consumers are going to need to be able to rapidly spin up new services and applications the same was as OTT and Enterprise Software companies deliver services in the cloud.
Think Kubernetes, containers, cloud native and multi-cloud. Companies will want to develop their applications and microservices in a container and have them flow from edge to core. The mobile network therefore truly becomes the extension of the cloud and this is the way mobile networks will look in the future.
Perhaps the one other thing that truly caught my attention from Ms. Comp is just the recognition of the diverse customers from various needs based across demographics to private enterprise to OTT service providers. She reiterated that breadth and depth of the portfolio was something that Intel would be deeply focused on—My belief is that the breath, depth and modernization of the mobile/edge architecture will be key in selecting the winners and losers of 5G.
Concluding About Our Mobile Future
The conversation with Lynn provided clarity as to the vision that Intel brings for the mobile Future. To me, it’s a clear indication that Intel’s decision to exit the 5G modem business was perhaps its best weapon to truly becoming a force in enterprise 5G.
The way I see it, Intel brings the whole tool box doing so customers have maximum opportunity to innovate for their customers and services without being over constrained – hyper scale cloud to edge. How to use all these modes. Licensed and unlicensed…from cloud to edge the native SDN/NFV will give flexibility to serve all customers and applications
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.