Role model for Telekom? Cellular providers are starting to manufacture chips

A lot is happening in the electronics industry right now: car manufacturers are relying on software, smartphone manufacturers are working on e-cars and mobile phone providers are not standing still either. Examples from Asia show where the journey can lead. Will they also make it to Germany?

A look east towards Asia is not only worthwhile for the latest Android smartphones and for e-cars, which want to outstrip some German manufacturers. Large mobile phone providers are currently demonstrating how the industry can develop further: From a large hardware buyer they want to become a chip manufacturer.

For example, the South Korean providers SK Telecom (SKT) and Korea Telecom (KT) are planning to develop their own chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and artificial intelligence. The latter also wants to work with industry giant Qualcomm on hardware for data centers (source: LightReading). SKT was able to present its first product at CES 2022: a chip for artificial intelligence that, among other things, 20 percent energy savings could.

KT wants to be ready to offer AI as a service by 2023. Possible customers would be financial service providers and car manufacturers who want to outsource the necessary calculations for autonomous driving. In China, China Mobile is taking a different approach: They are also researching IoT chips with a spin-off company and want to do it right away launch the appropriate end products such as smart home equipment.

Do Telekom, Vodafone and o2 take an example?

Do German brands like Telekom, Vodafone or o2 also take this route? In a way, you already are. For example, Telekom offers Internet of Things and cloud solutions. In contrast to the industry colleagues from Asia but you don’t rely on your own hardware.

Chips are becoming increasingly important in many situations, smart home products are just one of them:

That is also hardly to be expected. Participate even more closely in future developments through cooperation, but should be exciting. With its M1 chips, Apple has demonstrated how fruitful individually adapted chipsets can be. The automotive industry is also focusing on more independence.

In addition, Europe and Germany have focused on local chip production in recent months and years – a lesson learned from the challenges of the pandemic to want to become more independent. Some foreign manufacturers Germany is considered a possible production location.

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