Turk Telekom, which has only just launched LTE Advanced services in Turkey, is already looking ahead to the next generation of mobile technology and plans to collaborate on the development of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) with Nokia.
The Finland-based equipment manufacturer, which provided Turk Telecom's LTE-A network technology, said it has now signed an agreement with the Turkish operator, which in turn has made its network available to Nokia for 5G testing.
The companies said they will work together on testing 5G and Internet of Things technologies for tracking, metering, smart cities, smart home and latency-sensitive applications. They will then use their findings to develop 5G-ready solutions for deployment by the operator.
Rami Aslan, CEO at Turk Telekom, said: "We intend to be a pioneer in the deployment of technologies that differentiate our customer services. Working with Nokia, we have already launched 4G LTE-Advanced in Turkey, and the development of 5G technology will allow us to drive digital revolution, changing the way of life for our customers and growing the economy. We are pleased to yet again leverage Nokia's expertise and innovation leadership."
At Mobile World Congress in February, Turk Telekom also said it planned to offer speeds close to 5G technologies by April as part of a cooperation deal it signed with Korea Telecom. It aimed to combine LTE-A technology with Wi-Fi connections to enable speeds of up to 1 Gbps, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
After being slow to market with both 3G and 4G services, Turkey's three mobile operators have come under pressure from the government to roll out high-speed mobile data services, with 5G placed firmly centre stage.
That pressure meant that Turkcell, Turk Telekom and Vodafone Turkey had to commit to rolling out LTE-A services, not just LTE, when they launched services on Apr. 1 this year. Last year, Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan even said the country should bypass 4G technology and move straight from 3G to 5G.
Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) sold 20 frequency packages in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands in a tender on Aug. 26 last year.
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