UK-based BT Group has signed an agreement with Chinese vendor Huawei under which the pair will extend their strategic partnership, with ‘a clear focus on ensuring 5G leadership for BT Group and its mobile network, EE’. The updated partnership will reportedly involve development and live trials of a new 5G New Radio (NR) air interface, core network technology and 5G customer premises equipment, with the aim of testing ‘real-life 5G performance in a range of environments in preparation for commercial launch’.
BT and Huawei started joint work on 5G research and development in 2016 and have already established a wide-ranging research collaboration agreement. Commenting on the latest deal, Howard Watson, CTIO of BT Group, said: ‘Our 5G research has been hugely promising, and this partnership with Huawei will turn that research into reality. The EE network is already the UK leader for speed and coverage, and with the weight of BT’s R&D and partnerships we can ensure that leadership continues with the introduction a world class 5G experience. Huawei has helped us drive the evolution of the EE 4G network, and they are the ideal partner to help us push the barriers of 5G.’