A little over a year ago, Juan Casal took over as Intel’s Director of Telco & Digital Enterprises for Latin America. At Intel, this chapter is not only huge, but extremely strategic. While passing through the MWC in Barcelona, ​​the executive explained that the team he leads is distributed throughout Latin America, “and has profiles of all kinds: commercial, technical, architecture experts, business development… And what we do is precisely maintain and develop business with the region’s telecommunications operators and digital companies”.

Asked about his vision of this business, Casal highlights two dimensions. The first is all the Intel technology behind the telco. This relationship between operators and Intel became more intensive a little less than a decade ago, when they began the path of virtualization of their networks. “This means that large parts of those networks began running on servers with Intel computing inside. In the past it was not like that. At that time, Intel’s role with telcos began to multiply and became much more strategic.”

The second aspect comes from the demand side of society and the market. “I believe that telcos have, from that point of view, a fundamental role in society, because they are what make possible, through their connectivity, a lot of use cases that positively impact economies and individuals. Today we all have a cell phone, just think about everything a smartphone allows us to do. Many of these things could not be done fifteen years ago, so these new possibilities open the universe to us,” says Casal. “This has a lot to do with the telco’s role as an enabler, and there is the other dimension of Intel’s work in this area”.


This last aspect is directly connected to Intel’s mission, to create technology that changes the world and improves people’s lives. “Just look at what a telco makes possible by enabling a mobile network that allows us to have a smartphone, and allows us to connect wirelessly on the street with a data link, or walk with an augmented reality viewer (which is what many see as the near future). And in turn the economic impact of all this on society. Let’s imagine the impact that the arrival of a mobile network has in a rural area, for example. When you extend coverage, when you narrow the digital divide, you are in turn enabling a lot of things: you promote technological, financial, labor inclusion…”

“Now we talk a lot about modernizing the network and monetizing it. I think that this modernization and that monetization dialogue in these two aspects that we mentioned: we virtualize networks on the one hand, and make them more efficient and scalable, and the telco can build and offer them in a more flexible way. And at the same time we use them for countless use cases, such as new Artificial Intelligence applications,” concludes the regional executive.

The scene in America Latina 

To Casal, Latin America is a region that can benefit greatly from the two dimensions mentioned above. “Let’s think about all the challenges that Latin America has. It is a very extensive region and has many countries, which entails a great challenge, which is to make all of this progress at the same time. And, in the case of Latin America, due to a historical issue, I believe that a lot of opportunities are opening up with this idea of ​​modernizing telco networks and enabling a lot of new use cases, and closing of the digital divide, and financial inclusion, and rural inclusion…”

In practical terms, this can mean for a seller far from big cities having communications through the mobile network and accessing a financial solutions platform that allows them to accept payment by credit card. Basically, the executive believes that the region must embrace these technologies as enablers of all these inclusions. “We cannot afford to deny everything that communications and closing the digital divide imply for Latin America in terms of the possibility of development.”