Optus has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nokia to collaborate on the network evolution to 5G.
This partnership is expected to enable a host of network capabilities such as the Internet of Things, extreme broadband and ultra-low latency applications.
As the two companies collaborate on the development of 5G, a key project will be a 5G trial using Optus’ 3500MHz spectrum.
Terms of the deal will also see Optus and Nokia undertake an early 5G prototype in Optus’s band in Australia by 2017.
Other areas of collaboration will include promoting 5G global standardisation and industrialization, exploration and trials for new network architectures and applications to prepare Optus and Singtel for future 5G deployment, and building technology leadership in 5G via a demonstration of pre-commercial 5G systems at a major sporting event.
This partnership follows the very recent global acquisition by Nokia of a small semiconductor company based in Cambridge, Mass., Eta Devices.
According to the Nokia, this company was acquired in a move to make the Finnish giant’s base station technology more energy-efficient.
Nokia said its main technology, ETAdvanced, will reduce waste heat on transmitters, translating to savings that can be reinvested into forthcoming 5G technology.
Optus has already conducted closed tests with Nokia at its Sydney headquarters on a new 5G radio test bed on Nokia’s Airscale product, and a trial demonstrating the capability of Narrow Band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) to support the connectivity needs of IoT applications.
Singtel Group chief technology officer, Tay Soo Meng, 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 its ownership of 3.5GHz, and close partnerships with our vendors including Nokia.
“5G is exciting and the potential use for 5G is growing," he said.
"Through this partnership, the commencement of joint studies, and in-lab and in-field testing, we are primed to explore this technology. 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."
Nokia head of Oceania, Ray Owen, added that its experience and expertise in this area will go a long way in setting a strong foundation for Optus in Australia.
“Nokia is at the forefront of 5G research and standardisation and has taken huge strides in bringing this technology closer to reality," he added.
"We have a number of ongoing 5G innovation projects with operators around the world and we hope to bring the same commitment to our partnership with Optus and Singtel."