Intel is a brand long associated with IT – its ‘inside’ sticker was the mark of quality on hard drives for decades – but the advent of mobile has changed the way things work.
The American giant has failed to take a significant share of the mobile phone processor market and has instead shifted its focus to other business segments. One area that Intel has developed is coverage solutions, investing in new technologies aimed at benefiting networks and their customers.
Caroline Chan, wireless segment manager at Intel, believes that the new tools being developed by the manufacturer could make a real financial difference to both the operator and the end user: ‘Networks are always looking at ways of improving coverage and increasing the services they offer, but they are not always working on solutions that improve ARPU. For us it is about providing a platform and then giving partners the ability to collaborate on top of that. We see there being a significant demand for building coverage with additional service capabilities, but we need to make it easy for the operator to deploy the technology.
‘It’s about trialling services across a number of different verticals to see where the best use cases will be. This will create enhanced experiences for particular enterprises to encourage them to invest in the technology.
‘As well as developing services that provide an enhanced level of data capabilities, we are also consistently looking to enhance coverage and capacity across the network – searching for robust solutions that increase the network capabilities. We work in a holistic manner – not taking one part of the company a specific part of the business – we try to work in a way that is all-encompassing.’
Intel’s current corporate mantra is all about creating a platform with which collaborators can work. Its CEO Brian Krzanich is a big supporter of the maker movement and has emphasised the need for the brand to operate in a diversity of sectors.
Chan is a firm believer in this open-compatible way of operating: ‘The solutions we are developing can be used by small or large enterprises, it really depends on what the client is looking to achieve. It often makes sense to put services closer to the computer in certain cases, whether the user is downloading a video or using location-based capabilities.
‘Personal subscriber services and carrier services are all areas that will develop significantly, whether that’s people going in-store and using a shopping app, or improving customer experience. It will be about the merchant proving it has a justified business case for investing in the technology.
‘We want to engage with operators and their customers – we look at the assets and see how it can work better. There’s a number of ways in which we believe we can do this – and they are increasing.
Indoor locations are becoming more and more viable, particularly with the prominence of small cells, which means we can supply client-independent GPS solutions.’
The manufacturer believes that it can make things even more secure by giving the brand the opportunity to put more security into the network. Chan continues: ‘Mobility is such an important part of enterprise now, but it also increases security threats. We are looking to address that in new ways that make things more secure, such as putting MacAfee security software within the small cell.’
On the ‘edge’
Another area the brand has developed is coverage solutions – in particular making use of technologies such as ‘edge’ computing. This technology decentralises some of a computer’s data and power to other parts of an IT network. As well as taking the strain away from a single source, ‘edge’ computing has the added benefit of allowing greater capabilities to these units.
‘We’re also discussing new innovations with regards to network, partnering with companies to provide coverage solutions that improve the breadth and the quality of the network. ‘Edge’ computing will be a vital tool going forward in both improving the networks’ power and capacity and creating a solution that puts less strain on a singular source.
‘At the beginning with mobile ‘edge’ computing, the time to market was very lengthy. It was difficult for operators and telcos to sell these types of products because these types of systems were outside their area of expertise, but we are making progress in creating a platform for others to use.’