Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Finnish tech giant Nokia have announced the signing of a new collaboration agreement on developing 5G services, under which the partners will deploy a sports venue test network in Russia in 2018. In the meantime, MTS will also test systems with Nokia based on technology platforms including LTE-Advanced Pro alongside nascent 5G architecture to enable faster speeds, lower latency and greater spectrum efficiency. A press release notes that the implementation of a 5G test network in a Russian football stadium will allow spectators to experience innovative video and other services. Alongside the 5G test network deployment itself, the MTS/Nokia testing programme will focus on areas including: implementation of LTE-Advanced Pro features such as enhanced carrier aggregation and LTE Broadcast; coverage and capacity improvements using LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA); Internet of Things (IoT) projects using Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT), LTE-Machine (LTE-M) and Extended Coverage GSM technologies; and demonstrations of 5G and dual connectivity of LTE and 5G technologies in the centimetre band.
Previously, MTS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sweden’s Ericsson in December 2015, covering cooperation on 5G research and deployment in Russia, including spectrum studies of the next generation network and the building of a test system. Specifically, the MTS/Ericsson partnership covered a pilot project for LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U)/Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) in the unlicensed 5GHz band in 2016 followed by the deployment of 5G pilot solutions using high-speed data transmission in the 15GHz band in 2017, ahead of the construction of the test area for the demonstration of 5G technology solutions during the World Cup 2018 football tournament in Russia.