BT and Nokia to develop 5G tech in new collaboration agreement

BT and Nokia have signed a collaboration agreement to research and develop 5G technology - the next generation of mobile connectivity after 4G.

Together, the companies will work on the creation of a 5G Proof of Concept, understanding how customers may use it, and development of current emerging tech in the field.

The idea behind 5G is that it's a kind of mobile connection like 4G, only it's a whole lot better. BT says it will be capable of ultrafast speeds - think multiple gigabits per second - and far lower latency.

That means it'll be able to carry "simultaneous streaming of data-heavy content", like virtual reality and 360-degree videos, and means smart tech in the Internet of Things, like driverless cars and smart fridges, will be able to connect almost instantly.

Howard Watson, CEO of BT technology, services, and operations, explained how the two firms are gonna do it. He said: "Our EE mobile business already boasts the biggest 4G network in the UK, which is set to cover 95% of the country by 2020.

"We will build on that foundation to develop the next generation of LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G services over the next few years. It's still early days for 5G technology, but experience tells us that a collaborative approach is key to success."

Indeed so - Nokia has already done some work on 5G tech, in another collaboration with Verizon in the USA, in which they actually managed to get a working 5G network running.

Now, further work on the tech will go down at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, where the companies will look at using methods like mmWave radio and convergence to develop 5G.

In the US, Verizon thinks a limited launch of 5G could arrive in 2017, but that could be a little optimistic.

Source: BT

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