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BT and Nokia to collaborate on 5G development

Paul Withers
August 22, 2016

Technology giants will together develop 5G use cases, technical trials and standards

BT and Nokia have signed a research collaboration agreement on the development of 5G technologies.

They will work together on potential customer use cases, the creation of 5G Proof of Concept (PoF) trials and the development of the emerging technology standards and equipment.

The trials will focus on the enablers for 5G including mm Wave Radio, otherwise known as Extremely High Frequency, which is the band of spectrum between 30GHz and 300GHz, as well as potential commercial services including ultrafast mobile broadband, mission-critical services and the Internet of Things (IoT).

As a first step in the partnership, Nokia is currently conducting trials of its latest 5G-ready radio equipment at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk (pictured).

Greatly improved speeds

BT said 5G will deliver seamless connectivity that will deliver greatly improved ultrafast speeds to mobile users and target peak rates of multiple gigabits and latency in the range of one millisecond.

It added such speeds would allow for the simultaneous streaming of data-heavy content such as virtual reality or live 360-degree video to any device.

However, the two companies believe the technology’s biggest potential is its ability to improve the flexibility and usability of mobile networks, allowing them to ‘flex’ to meet specific customer needs.

This might include lower latency to support critical communications, or greater power efficiency and higher bandwidth usage for different applications.

The telecoms provider claimed this new flexibility will be critical to support new business and consumer services based on IoT, including connected cars, smart cities and remote health monitoring applications.

Collaborative approach

BT Technology, Service and Operations CEO Howard Watson said: “Our EE mobile business already boasts the biggest 4G network in the UK, which is set to cover 95 per cent 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.

“It’s still early days for 5G technology, but experience tells us that a collaborative approach is key to success.”

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