Telefonica and Nokia have signed an agreement to evaluate new technologies which will enable an efficient network evolution to 5G, in line with the Spanish group’s business objectives. The vendor says that it has created a path to 5G for operators using its 4.5G, 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies, which will deliver increased speed, capacity and improved latency. The trials will maximise the use of Telefonica’s existing network assets, and leverage licensed and unlicensed spectrum, as well as the vendor’s Massive MIMO capabilities. Testing will take place in busy city centre locations, as well as in suburban and rural areas – particularly in markets where traditional LTE spectrum is limited. The companies will also investigate network slicing techniques on a cloud-native core network using Telefonica’s UNICA cloud platform, which was developed to boost the telco’s network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) capabilities.