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BT to collaborate with Nokia on 5G

Nokia is already testing 5G radio equipment at BT Labs in Suffolk

U.K. telecommunications company BT and Finnish vendor Nokia have signed a research collaboration agreement on 5G technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two firms will work together on potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, the creation of 5G proofs of concept (PoC) trials and the development of the emerging technology standards and equipment.

The British telco said that 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 (IoT).

“Our EE mobile business already boasts the biggest 4G network in the U.K., which is set to cover 95% of the country by 2020. We will build on that foundation to develop the next generation of LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G services over the next few years,” Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service & Operations, said. “It’s still early days for 5G technology, but experience tells us that a collaborative approach is key to success.”

“5G is the communications technology of the future, and it will transform how we communicate with each other, as well as communicate with devices and ‘things’. Nokia is delighted to be working with BT in laying the foundations for 5G adoption in the coming years, and in helping define how this technology will enable exciting and innovative experiences,” Cormac Whelan, head of the UK & Ireland at Nokia, said.

Under the agreement, Nokia is already conducting trials of its latest 5G-ready radio equipment at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, in Suffolk. This radio system demonstrates key 5G technology ingredients that are currently in standardization running on Nokia’s AirScale radio access, including a new 5G frame structure and 4 x 100MHz carrier aggregation.

EE currently counts more than 30 million subscribers in the mobile telephony segment. The operator launched commercial LTE services in October 2012, and currently offers 4G LTE technology through the 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands. EE, part of the BT Group, also launched Voice over LTE services in April this year.

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