BT and Nokia slink off together, muttering about 5G tech

Operators join hands for laboratory love-in

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BT and Nokia have signed a research collaboration agreement on 5G at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk.

The two companies have agreed to work together on potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, the creation of 5G proof-of-concept trials and the development of technology standards and equipment.

The trials will focus on the technology enablers for 5G, including mmWave radio and convergence, as well as potential commercial services including ultrafast mobile broadband, mission-critical services and the Internet of Things.

5G is intended to provide improved ultrafast speeds to mobile users and targets peak rates of multiple Gigabits and latency in the range of one millisecond.

Howard Watson, chief exec of BT Technology, said: "It’s still early days for 5G technology, but experience tells us that a collaborative approach is key to success. We’re delighted to be working with Nokia to drive a common approach to 5G, and to develop exciting use cases which bring together our combined experience in fixed and mobile technologies.”

Cormac Whelan, head of the UK & Ireland at Nokia, said the company was "delighted to be working with BT".

Nokia is currently conducting trials of its latest 5G-ready radio equipment.

The technology will run on Nokia’s AirScale radio access, as well as a new 5G frame structure and 4 x 100MHz carrier aggregation.

The two companies have a history of working together, with Nokia supplying BT’s 21C Core Routing Platform, the BT/EE subscriber register infrastructure, and part of the EE Radio Access Network.

An official 5G standard is expected to be agreed next year, with Ofcom not expected to decide what spectrum it will use until the end of the decade. ®


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