Finnish city launches 5G test network with the help of Nokia

The city of Oulu, Finland, launched a 5G test network that starting in June will operate as a public test environment. The network is a joint project of the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, the University of Oulu and a dozen other partners including the city of Oulu, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, Nokia and Yle.

The network initially launched as a closed network at the VTT Technical Research Centre but will open in June as a public test network on the Oulu university campus. It will eventually be expanded to cover other parts of the city as well.

According to the VTT project manager, the network will be used to test and pilot new types of services including multimedia and cloud applications, Internet of Things applications and more. It is expected to use less energy than a 3G or 4G wireless network.

But Finland isn't the only country involved in the 5G race. In November of last year Huawei teamed with MegaFon in Russia and said that it will demonstrate 5G in a trial during the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Huawei is also involved in a 5G test bed at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. The company invested about $8 million in the program and is planning to provide expertise and equipment for the trial.

Likewise, South Korea is also moving forward with 5G. SK Telecom and Samsung have agreed to jointly research 5G network technology and services. The companies said they will define and select frequency bands suitable for the implementation of 5G technology, and conduct research and development. They also agreed to experiment on enabling technologies, including the next generation small cell, massive MIMO and next-generation modulation/demodulation, as well as developing large volume and high-quality services for 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Despite the growing number of test beds dedicated to 5G, most industry experts have said they don't expect a commercial 5G network to launch until 2020.

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