BT and Nokia agree 5G research deal

BT office in UK

BT and Nokia signed a research collaboration agreement on 5G technologies, saying they will work together on potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, the creation of 5G proof of concept trials and the development of the emerging technology standards and equipment.

The UK operator and Finland-based vendor said the 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).

Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service & Operations, noted that it is still early days for 5G technology, “but experience tells us that a collaborative approach is key to success.”

Watson added that BT plans to build on the 4G network that has already been deployed by its new mobile unit, EE, “to develop the next generation of LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G services over the next few years.”

As a first step in the collaboration, Nokia is currently conducting trials of its latest 5G-ready radio equipment at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk in the UK. The two companies already enjoy a working relationship: Nokia supplies BT’s 21C core routing platform and both the BT/EE subscriber register infrastructure and part of the EE radio access network.

BT and Nokia are certainly far from the only companies to come together over 5G: the industry is now littered with 5G collaborations across the globe.

For example, Ericsson teamed up with Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom in separate collaborations in July, and previously revealed plans to work with Swisscom. Nokia also has formed a number of partnerships, one of the most recent being with Turk Telekom.

Ovum also recently predicted that operators will start to launch 5G networks in 2020 and predicted that there will be services in more than 20 markets with 24 million 5G subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2021.

For more:
- see the BT release

Related articles:
Ericsson reveals separate 5G developments with Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom
Swisscom, Ericsson collaborate on Swiss 5G project
Turk Telekom to work with Nokia on 5G and IoT
Ovum: 5G subscriptions to reach 24M by end-2021