BT has signed a research collaboration agreement with Nokia on 5G technologies. Under the partnership, both companies will co-develop potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, create 5G Proof of Concept (PoC) trials and also work on the development of the emerging technology standards and equipment.
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).
By integrating the best capabilities of fixed and mobile networks, 5G will deliver seamless connectivity which is even more capable than today’s 4G technologies, said BT. It is expected to deliver greatly improved ultrafast speeds to mobile users and targets peak rates of multiple Gigabits and latency in the range of one millisecond. Such speeds would allow for the simultaneous streaming of data-heavy content such as virtual reality or live 360 degree video to any device, while greatly reduced latency would mean truly real-time engagement between remote users and systems.
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. This radio system demonstrates key 5G technology ingredients that are currently in standardization running on Nokia’s AirScale radio access, including an entirely new 5G frame structure and 4 x 100MHz carrier aggregation.
The agreement builds on the existing relationship between the two companies in which Nokia supplies BT’s 21C Core Routing Platform and both the BT/EE subscriber register infrastructure and part of the EE Radio Access Network.