At the Mobile World Congress 2017, Intel highlighted new products and trials to improve LTE and 5G connectivity in collaborations with AT&T and Spreadtrum.

Building on momentum of a successful trial announced in December where the launch the first 5G business customer trial at Intel’s Austin, Texas, facility was announced, AT&T announced its plans to kick off another 5G trial with Intel and Ericsson in Spring 2017. This second trial will focus on residential and small-to-medium business customers, who will be able to stream DIRECTV NOW and access next-gen entertainment and enhanced broadband services.

Spreadtrum Communications launched a new 5-mode LTE system-on-chip (SoC) based on Intel Airmont architecture and 14nm process technology. Spreadtrum’s new integrated CAT 7 modem SoC (SC9861G-IA) is designed to not only be power-efficient, but with Intel® Virtualization Technology, it also supports a multi-domain security system architecture, providing security for smart devices. Spreadtrum SC9861G-IA is scheduled for mass production in the second quarter of 2017 and targets the global mid-level and premium smartphone markets.

The week before, Intel also announced a 5G Innovators Initiative to brings together leading technology companies, industry leaders and academia to explore, test and innovate with 5G network and distributed edge technology in the U.S. In cooperation with Ericsson, the initiative was launched with Honeywell, GE, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Asha Keddy, vice president and general manager of Next Generation Standards, Intel Communications and Devices Group, says:

“5G is not simply about making smart phones faster. It’s about the machines and things that will deliver an entirely new smart and connected future. Building our 5G future requires a new approach to industry collaboration and development. The 5GI2 initiative combines technological strengths and intellectual capital from each of the participants to build step-by-step blueprints for how early applications of 5G connectivity, IoT and cloud services will bring new forms of value to multiple industries.”

The 5GI2 will first focus on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and develop pilots for application of technologies including augmented and virtual reality for first responder drone surveillance of hazardous environments and other uses. The pilots will include step-by-step blueprints of the network, cloud and 5G connectivity requirements – from speed and responsiveness to security and analytics.