Optus has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nokia for collaboration on the development of 5G.
The two companies will work together on a 5G trial leveraging Optus’ 3.5GHz spectrum. The two will undertake an “early 5G prototype” in the band by 2017, Optus said.
“There is a global race to explore and develop 5G technology, and in Australia, Optus is well positioned to lead in this space with our ownership of 3.5GHz, and close partnerships with our vendors including Nokia,” said Singtel group CTO Tay Soo Meng in a statement. Optus is a subsidiary of Singtel.
Optus said it had conducted tests using a 5G radio testbed in Nokia’s Sydney headquarters.
The telco said that areas of collaboration included:
•Promoting 5G global standardisation and industrialisation – Optus through Singtel participates in the NGMN Alliance to give operator inputs to 5G standardisation. Nokia will share the latest 3GPP and ITU 5G technology design concepts, new product launches, innovations and technologies.
•Exploration and trials for new network architectures and applications – to prepare Optus and Singtel for future 5G deployments
•Building technology leadership in 5G – a demonstration of pre-commercial 5G systems at a major sporting event.
Telstra in September staged the first public demonstration in Australia of 5G in collaboration with Ericsson. The test used 800MHz of spectrum (10 times the bandwidth used by 4G) to deliver 10Gbps data streams.
Globally, Vodafone is collaborating with Ericsson on a 5G proof of concept project. Locally, Vodafone Hutchison Australia, which is a joint venture between Vodafone and Hutchison Telecommunications, will later this month stage a public 5G demonstration in partnership with Nokia.