BT and Nokia ink 5G research collaboration agreement

19 Aug 2016

British fixed line incumbent BT has announced that it has signed a research collaboration agreement on 5G technologies with Finland’s Nokia. In a press release confirming the development it was revealed that the two companies have agreed to work together on potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, the creation of 5G Proof of Concept (PoC) trials and the development of the emerging technology standards and equipment. It is understood that these 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). This agreement builds on an existing relationship between the duo in which Nokia supplies BT’s 21C Core Routing Platform and both the BT/EE subscriber register infrastructure and part of the EE Radio Access Network (RAN).

Collaboration between BT and Nokia is already underway, meanwhile, with the latter confirmed to be conducting trials of its latest 5G-ready radio equipment at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk. This radio system, it was noted, demonstrates key 5G technology ingredients that are currently in standardisation running on Nokia’s AirScale radio access, including an entirely new 5G frame structure and 4×100MHz carrier aggregation.

Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service & Operations, said of the matter: ‘Our EE mobile business already boasts the biggest 4G network in the UK, 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. 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.’