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MWC 2023: Where IoT Networking Meets the Intelligent Edge

Intelligent edge

The Internet of Things has become so pervasive it’s hardly discernible from non-IoT tech. Now it’s just tech. The same is true for IoT suppliers, which have evolved solutions from the ground up to emphasize the inextricable link between data, compute, and the connectivity that binds them to value-generating applications and services.

Since IoT technology and its creators have matured, ecosystems are following suit—which you can see on display at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona from February 27th to March 2nd. There, Intel and dozens of Intel® Partners Alliance members will demonstrate how software-defined solutions from the company’s Network and Edge Group (NEX) facilitate convergence of communications and compute from edge to cloud.

Across Intel’s 10 demo stations at Mobile World Congress, partners like Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC), Silicom, Kontron, HPEEricsson, and Nokia will exhibit the advantages of blending fully programmable edge networks using virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) technology. Meanwhile, Dell, Red Hat, Capgemini, and others will demonstrate how this reimagining of the network infrastructure can be combined with capabilities like 5G to deliver game-changing applications and services to the intelligent edge.

Read on to discover exactly what you can expect for this event.

vRAN Bridges Cloud-Native, the Intelligent Edge, and Everything in Between

The rigidity of legacy network architectures has been one of the biggest obstacles to IoT scalability to date, as proprietary infrastructure, different protocol stacks, and a step-down in resources made it difficult if not impossible for telecom and network operators to deliver the same services to the edge that they offer in the cloud. The emergence of vRAN technology has turned that equation upside down.

vRANs abstract network functions that previously ran on specialized hardware into software, making it possible for providers to scale their offerings on top of standard server hardware, like what you’d find in a data center. With a more homogeneous end-to-end architecture, it’s possible to adopt fully programmable, software-defined, and container-based approaches to application development and delivery, which opens a world of possibilities for IoT services at the edge. Ericsson and HPE will be demonstrating these benefits using 4G/5G vRANs at the event.

With vRAN, telcos and #network operators can design and deploy high-performance, cost-effective, and power-optimized networks that scale with demand, then deploy #cloud-native apps all the way to the intelligent #edge. @MWCHub via @insightdottech

WNC, Silicom, Juniper Networks, and Kontron will also be showing the possibilities of vRAN technology in an accelerated virtual cell site router built on Intel® Xeon® processor technology and the Intel® N6000 Acceleration Development Platform (ADP). An off-the-shelf, Agilex FPGA-based Smart Network Interface Card (SmartNIC), the N6000 ADP supports programmable acceleration of communications workloads. In the demo, it will be deployed in an Open RAN-compliant platform alongside an Intelligent RAN controller from Juniper Networks, collectively netting ample performance and flexibility to meet the demands of private 5G and IoT edge use cases.

Proving that this open networking concept can still be secure, Intel partners Nokia, Rafay, and Zscaler have developed a Secure Access Service Edge Points of Presence (SASE PoP) demo that implements zero-trust handoffs between multiple locations and a private 5G network.

New Networks Have a New Edge to Deliver New Use Cases

With vRAN, telcos and network operators can design and deploy high-performance, cost-effective, and power-optimized networks that scale with demand, then deploy cloud-native apps all the way to the intelligent edge. Partners like Dell, Red Hat, and Capgemini will bring all of this to life at the event in a joint 5G-enabled smart manufacturing demo built with capabilities like 5G network slicing on top of an open RAN.

At their booths, Red Hat and Capgemini will showcase sustainability and metaverse use cases. And elsewhere, UST Global will display the importance of the intelligent edge in the retail industry with its demo “Intuitive Touchless Checkout for Retail Convenience Stores,” where it will showcase how vision AI-powered checkout solutions can help improve customer experiences while addressing labor shortage issues. Meanwhile, China Mobile, ZTE, and Thundersoft will trial an edge video platform, both built on the Intel® Data Center GPU Flex Series.

And don’t miss the demo from Microsoft where it will be displaying its work with AT&T to show how operators can manage distributed edge services like these through the Azure cloud platform.

These are just a handful of the partners and activities at MWC 2023 leveraging Intel NEX technology. You can also expect a multi-radio access technology (RAT) demonstration from Wind River, Samsung, Vodafone, and Dell that enables 2G/4G/5G communications on a single platform. And there will be exhibits from F5 Networks, HCL, TATA, VMWare, Rakuten, and many more.

All of them are focused on enhancing new services and enabling new revenue streams for network operators and IoT end users at the new converged network edge—and all of them are built on Intel technology. Attend Mobile World Congress and see it all for yourself.


This article was edited by Christina Cardoza, Associate Editorial Director for

About the Author

Brandon is a long-time contributor to going back to its days as Embedded Innovator, with more than a decade of high-tech journalism and media experience in previous roles as Editor-in-Chief of electronics engineering publication Embedded Computing Design, co-host of the Embedded Insiders podcast, and co-chair of live and virtual events such as Industrial IoT University at Sensors Expo and the IoT Device Security Conference. Brandon currently serves as marketing officer for electronic hardware standards organization, PICMG, where he helps evangelize the use of open standards-based technology. Brandon’s coverage focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, embedded processors, edge computing, prototyping kits, and safety-critical systems, but extends to any topic of interest to the electronic design community. Drop him a line at, DM him on Twitter @techielew, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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