Intel have today announced the world’s first global 5G modem at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas. Intel consider their new 5G model to be an industry milestone, as it will allow businesses to use the same product for 5G development work all over the world. As such, Intel expect the new modem to reduce the time it takes for companies to develop 5G-enabled devices by handling some of the complexities of next-generation networking. Intel’s new 5G modem combines a baseband processor chip with their new 5G transceiver including sub-6GHz and mmWave functionality. Intel have used what they are calling “key 3GPP 5G NR (new radio) technology,” which blends a mix of low network latency, advanced channel coding and massive MIMO. Intel hope that companies will use their new 5G global modem as part of 5G trials, and of course using their technology will help drive global adoption of the 3GPP 5G standard. The global 5G modem will work across the European, American, Japanese and Korean markets and is set to start sampling in the second half of 2017.
Intel explained that the global 5G modem is a product made possible because of the company’s learnings from its 5G Mobile Trial Platform, or MTP, which was launched a little under a year ago in early 2016. Intel’s MTP has been used all over the world for forms the basis for the Intel GO Automotive 5G Platform. Naturally, Intel are excited about being the first manufacturer to announce a global 5G modem, and they consider their new product to be something of an advance guard to herald the introduction of billions of Internet-of-Things products, which both Intel and the industry to be coming online in the next decade. This huge number of new devices demands a new generation of network with the capacity to handle the much higher demand. However, as Intel concede, whilst we know something of the new 5G standard, the majority of standards have yet to be established by the 3GPP. Intel are presumably hoping to steal something of a march over their competitors by launching their new global modem as quickly as possible. Intel believes that 5G network technology will help autonomous vehicles make connected decisions in milliseconds to help keep drivers safe, will allow drones to beam real-time data to the emergency services when helping in disaster recovery efforts, and could help make tomorrow’s smart cities a possibility by allowing thousands of sensors to be monitored real time.