Ericsson, Nokia sign IoT, 5G collaboration deals with KT

South Korea's KT is getting more committed to 5G, announcing separate deals with Ericsson and Nokia Networks to further research and development in 5G.

If that sounds familiar, that's because there's a lot of that going around these days, with operators around the world hooking up with vendors on various memorandums of understanding to advance their roles in the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G. SK Telecom and Samsung struck an agreement last year to collaborate on 5G network technology and service development.

With Nokia, KT signed a two-year MoU deal to establish an IoT lab and LTE-M test site at KT's premises, supported by all three Nokia businesses: Nokia Networks, Here and Nokia Technologies.

Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri and KT CEO Chang-Gyu Hwang signed the MoU at the Mobile World Congress 2015 trade show in Barcelona.

Chang-gyu said Korea's top network operator will lead in setting up standards for the IoT. "The emergence of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology is offering huge growth opportunities to Korean carriers," Hwang said in a news conference on the sidelines of MWC, The Korea Times reported.

"I believe KT is ideally positioned to clinch a major stake in the era of IoT and 5G. Undaunted by the lack of global standards, KT is ready to address this issue," he said, according to the Times.

Also at MWC 2015, KT and Nokia jointly demonstrated an LTE-M prototype for machine-to-machine communication that links together a large number of wearables, cars and smart grid elements. It promises to deliver more than 10 years of battery life and provides four times more coverage than conventional LTE, the companies said in a press release.

This "pre-5G technology," as they're calling it, enables the cost-efficient connection of a massive number of sensors, even in remote or poor coverage locations. Nokia Networks used its end-to-end LTE system, including Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station and Flexi Zone, for the LTE-M demonstration.

As for Ericsson, KT signed an MoU with the vendor to explore collaboration in the research and development of 5G wireless communications and relevant business. Specifically, they identified standardization, spectrum strategy, network architecture and deployment scenarios, as well as "massive connectivity" for the IoT, as areas of interest.

KT and Ericsson previously worked together on technology related to 5G. In November of 2014, they teamed up to verify heterogeneous network carrier aggregation technology, another key element of 5G.

For more:
- see The Korea Times story
- see this Nokia release
- see this Ericsson release

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