There is a battle brewing for wireless network semis featuring Intel whose chip looks pricey, Marvel who is highly flexible and Qualcomm who has serious radio skills but also a history of losing interest in this market, and even a start-up, Picocom.
Open Ran – This is not your beautiful house. This is not your beautiful car.
What role is left for Nokia and Ericsson? Are they systems integrators? Specialty equipment vendors? Enterprise mobility solution provider? None are great options.
The Cloud Vendors continue to push hard to win business running the Telco’s core networks. Azure now claims they can reduce carrier opex by 40%. If true, this will push a lot of operators into the warm embrace of the Cloud.
We just got back from Barcelona. MWC is back, bustling without being overcrowded and very productive. There was no single bit new thing, but lots of progress on lots of fronts.
We are going to Barcelona for MWC. This is what we plan to learn about:
* Open RAN
* Cellular modem penetration beyond phones
* Cellular connectivity in cars and auto makers’ changing relationships with chip vendors
* The state of the wireless standards
The market for base station and RAN silicon is shaping up to one of the most interesting to watch in the new year. And intel seems to have forgotten its long, sorry history in the space, making for some great viewing.
At MWC Qualcomm made many announcements about wireless infrastructure – not their typical market. We think they are building a software ecosystem around their chips, to promote adoption of mmWave, and preparing the way for future products.
MWC is once again the venue for the global persuasion campaign between competing visions of the O-RAN project. The big swing factor this time around is the growing presence of hyperscalers, notably Microsoft Azure.
Qualcomm has a lot of buzzwords in their X70 press release – AI ! 5G ! – but the real significance of this news can be found in a single hyphen between Modem and RF.