Optus and Nokia have agreed to collaborate on the development of 5G mobile network technology.
A key project under a memorandum of understanding – announced on Thursday –will be a 5G trial using Optus’ 3500MHz spectrum, a ‘globally-harmonised’ band by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for mobile broadband usage, Optus said.
Optus and Nokia will undertake an early 5G prototype in Optus’ band in Australia by 2017. Both companies will promote 5G global standards – Optus through Singtel participates in the NGMN Alliance to give operator inputs to 5G standardisation.
Nokia will share the latest GPP and ITU 5G technology design concepts, new product launches, innovations and technologies.
Optus has conducted initial closed tests with Nokia at its Sydney headquarters on a new 5G radio test bed on Nokia’s Airscale product. The demonstration highlighted 5G speed capability with the delivery of virtual reality video content. It also showed ultra-reliable low-latency networking which enabled new industrial use cases such as real-time responsive robots, Optus said.
The telco has also completed a trial demonstrating the capability of ‘narrow band internet of things’ applications.
“5G is exciting and the potential use of 5G is growing. Through this partnership, the commencement of joint studies, and in-lab and in-field testing, we are primed to explore this technology,” said Tay Soo Meng, group chief technology officer at Singtel.
“As we look ahead, Optus will explore new network architectures and use case trials with a specific 5G focus. We are also preparing the network across transport and core networks, through virtualised network functions and cloud infrastructure,” Tay said.
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