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Bringing the 5G Vision Into Focus: 6 Questions with Dan Rodriguez

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Dan Rodriguez, Vice President and General Manager for Intel’s Network Platforms Group, sees vast opportunities in a future with fully transformed 5G networks that are agile, flexible, and scalable.

Watch his recent interview or read the Q&A below to discover how Intel is accelerating this network transformation—and providing tremendous potential for communications service providers, enterprises, and society.

The following excerpt has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Q: What is Intel’s vision for 5G?
5G is about more than just delivering better broadband. It’s also about enabling service providers to deliver vertical market-specific applications to unlock potential across a wide variety of industries. With that, comes a truly transformed network that’s flexible and server-like while utilizing cloud technologies to unleash new use cases. That could include smart factories, smart retail environments, smart stadiums, the many flavors of media, cloud gaming, and even broadcast-quality video.

Q: What is the importance of edge computing?
The reason people are talking about edge computing is that it places compute and analytics much closer to where data is generated, delivering a better experience for the end customer. Edge computing also enables network providers to ensure they’re delivering experiences with the right economics and the right scale, whether that means low latency, higher reliability, or both.

Q: Why do we need low latency and higher reliability?
Together, low latency and ultra-reliability are critical to the future of 5G because 5G is all about unleashing potential across many different vertical markets. Consider the industrial market. With 5G, low latency, and high reliability, there’s the opportunity to connect many different robotics across the factory floor and use AI and machine learning to improve performance and output.

Q: How will 5G change our lives for the better?
5G enhances experiences and delivers amazing technologies to both businesses and consumers alike. It has the power to connect every person, and every thing, across the globe in a very seamless and transparent way. As a result, it will unleash the potential of businesses while also making experiences more relevant and engaging for consumers.

For example, when you go into a stadium in the future, you’ll be able to interact with the events happening in that stadium in different ways. You’ll be able to watch seamless replays on whichever screen you prefer. You may be able to interact with broadcasters. The possibilities are truly endless.

Q: Why is Intel so well-positioned to help build out 5G?
Intel is helping to enable a flexible and scalable 5G network with the cornerstone of our product lineup, CPUs, and a top-to-bottom roadmap that delivers network providers the right power, performance, and value to enable a wide variety of 5G use cases.

There’s also a host of unique platform-level innovations, whether that’s FPGAs to speed up particular 5G algorithms, ethernet to provide the right overall connectivity, or Intel® OptaneTM DC persistent memory to support use cases such as a Content Distribution Network (CDN). Wrap all that silicon into the foundation, combine it with the right open-source software Intel is driving—including through the Linux Foundation with programs such as the Data Plane Development Kit, which is now becoming the de facto standard for packet processing—and you’re well on your way to entering the new era of data-centric compute.

Q: What is the new data-centric era of compute?
The data-centric era is about moving, processing, and storing data very quickly. Essentially, we’re enabling a more flexible, agile, and scalable network where workloads can be deployed at multiple locations—whether in the cloud, at the edge, or on-premise. All of this innovation is in the name of delivering the right quality of experience for our customers and the right scale economies so they can make their businesses work.

Learn more about Intel’s vision for 5G by watching the suite of executive interviews:


About the Author
Daniel (Dan) C. Rodriguez is corporate vice president and general manager of the Network and Edge Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. He leads the organization that defines, markets and scale solutions across the network and edge, through a variety of industry sectors. Rodriguez is responsible for the group’s product lines, business strategies and ecosystem engagements that are driving a transformation of the network for 5G and buildout of the intelligent edge. Before assuming his current role, he was the general manager of the Network Platforms Group. In that position, he was responsible for delivering innovative technologies, solutions and business strategies for network infrastructure, spanning wireless, wireline, enterprise and cloud networking. Rodriguez holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Arizona State University and earned his MBA degree from the University of Southern California.