BT and Nokia have signed a collaboration agreement to research and develop 5G technology - the next generation of mobile connectivity after 4G.
The two companies have agreed to work together on potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, the creation of 5G Proof of Concept (PoC) trials and 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).
Integrating the best capabilities of fixed and mobile networks, 5G will deliver seamless connectivity which is even more capable than today’s 4G technologies. It will 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. This is essential for consumer applications such as mobile gaming and major technology advancements like driverless cars.
However, the two companies believe that the technology’s biggest potential is its ability to improve the flexibility and usability of mobile networks, allowing them to ‘flex’ to meet the specific needs of customers. This might include lower latency to support critical communications, or greater power efficiency and higher bandwidth usage for different applications. This new flexibility will be critical to support new business and consumer services based on IoT, including connected cars, smart cities and remote health monitoring applications.
Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service & Operations, said: "It’s still early days for 5G technology, but experience tells us that a collaborative approach is key to success. We’re delighted to be working with Nokia to drive a common approach to 5G, and to develop exciting use cases which bring together our combined experience in fixed and mobile technologies.”
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