Bringing the 5G Vision Into Focus: 5 Questions with Alex Quach

Alex Quach, Vice President and General Manager, Wireline and Core Network, is working to unleash compute and intelligence across the network with 5G.

Watch his recent interview or read the Q&A below to discover how the network is evolving and paving the way for new use cases—especially with the coming Release 16 specification for ultra-reliable, low latency communications (URLLC).

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

Q: What is Intel’s vision for 5G?
5G is a game-changing congruence of factors happening on different fronts that brings together a perfect storm for innovation. There’s innovation on the air interface and the wireless side. Think of new spectrum and air interfaces that allow for fast over the air speeds that are wireline like. Once you get over the air, there is a transformation of the network happening as well. The network is evolving to become more software-defined. And the network buildout to the edge is providing a platform for new innovation and services that are about to enter the market.

Q: Why do we need low latency and higher reliability?
Right around the corner will be the approval of the 3GPP Release 16 specification, which will allow the industry to innovate around URLLC. This enables a different set of use cases for the end user and the enterprise. When we talk about a data-centric environment with massive amounts of data being generated through 5G devices, the key is embedding compute capabilities and intelligence across the network to empower use of that data.

Q: What is the new era of data-centric compute?
Networks in the past were primarily used for transport purposes. Now with the introduction of Intel-based platforms, you have intelligent nodes across the entire network. Instead of intelligence only in centralized areas, intelligence is now in areas where you want it to be. From a data-centric perspective, you can place services and processing in any area of the network you want on an Intel platform working with a number of different suppliers across the ecosystem.

Q: What is Intel’s role in building out 5G?
From an overall network perspective, Intel plays an end-to-end role. We offer a suite of products in the space, and have been working with companies like Nokia and Ericsson to have their base stations incorporate a number of Intel® technologies. These are the base stations that have powered the first wave of the 5G rollout. As the rollout continues, the next area of innovation is the core network. Network function virtualization (NFV) has taken stronghold in the core now, and much of the core network is built on Intel® technologies and compute and processing platforms.

Q: How do we deliver the 5G promise?
With its world-class compute, storage, networking, and acceleration—including artificial intelligence—Intel is in the best position to deliver on the 5G promise. We see compute with 5G being pervasive, not just in the device, but across the network. We also see the ability to have compute in the network where it makes sense to have those capabilities reside. We’re bringing computing across the network and putting compute where it should be to maximize the overall experience and service for the network. We have hundreds of ecosystem partners in our network builders program, including operating system vendors, application vendors, hardware vendors, system vendors, and system integrators to help pull together all these solutions and enable the future of 5G.

Learn more about Intel’s vision for 5G by watching the suite of executive interviews:
AI Fuels 5G Innovation Behind the Scenes with Caroline Chan, VP and GM, Network Business Incubator
Evolve Business with 5G and Edge Compute with Ronnie Vashista, VP and GM, Network and Custom Logic Group
A Perfect Storm of Innovation with Alex Quach, VP and GM, Wireline and Core Network
Cloud to Network to Edge with Lynn Comp, VP and GM, Visual Cloud
Unleash Network Modernization with Dan Rodriguez, VP and GM, Network Platforms Group
Accelerating Business Opportunities with Asha Keddy, VP and GM, Next Generation and Standards, 5G

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Alexander Quach

About Alexander Quach

Alexander (Alex) D. Quach is a vice president of the Data Platforms Group and general manager of the Wireline and Core Network Division (WCND) within the Network Platforms Group at Intel Corporation. As part of the Intel Data Platforms Group, he is responsible for driving Intel’s business across service provider wireline access networks (broadband, cable) as well as the wireless core networks. WCND is specifically focused on the industry transition to virtualized and cloud native solutions along with the 5G next generation core to edge network. Quach was a marketing manager for test and measurement products at Tektronix Inc. before joining Intel® in 1997 as a product marketing engineer for desktop products. He was responsible for promoting the growth of Intel's wireless connectivity business in multiple market segments, including machine-to-machine communication, the automotive sector, low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking and client connectivity. Prior to that, Quach led Intel's wireless connectivity solutions business within the Client Computing Group, where he focused on mobile client platforms based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, wireless gigabit (WiGig) and cellular technologies. Earlier in his Intel career, as director of wireless marketing for the company's mobile wireless business unit, he led marketing for Intel's WiMAX product portfolio. Quach also spent several years as a customer marketing manager in the service provider group. Quach has dual bachelor’s degrees in physics and psychology and an MBA from University of Washington.