A collaboration between Huawei and South Korean operator LG Uplus could indirectly benefit development of fifth generation (5G) mobile technology in Europe by leveraging existing ties between the Chinese vendor and the region, as well as a joint development deal between the European Commission (EC) and South Korea.
Neelie Kroes - EC vice president for the Digital Agenda
Huawei revealed it has established a mobile innovation centre in Seoul as part of a partnership with LG Uplus that will focus on developing new 5G equipment, LTE Advanced carrier aggregation technology, and small cells.
Although designed to boost network access and quality in South Korea, Yang Chaobin, CMO of Huawei Wireless Networks, said the collaboration with LG Uplus makes it easier for the company to achieve its goal of "bringing the world's most advanced mobile broadband services to more people worldwide." His comments suggest that the company's latest innovation centre is likely to feed back into its global efforts to develop 5G technology, as well as EC-led initiatives.
In early July Huawei was voted onto the board of the 5G Infrastructure Association--the private element in the European Commission's 5G Public Private Partnership (5GPPP). At the time, Huawei said it would play an important role as an advisor for the association, helping to define European Union priorities for 5G research, and aligning the development path of the 5GPPP with other groups involved in developing next generation technologies.
A pathway between EC and South Korean 5G research was opened in June with the signing of a "landmark" technology cooperation agreement by Neelie Kroes, EC vice president for the Digital Agenda, and Mun-Kee Choi, South Korea's Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
The goal of the programme is to arrive at a definition of what 5G technology should be by end-2015, and then jointly fund development over the following two years.
Huawei said in February that its European Research Centre is at the forefront of developing the wireless interface for 5G technology, and predicted the first 5G networks would go live by 2020.
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