Nokia said key technologies including Massive MIMO and URLLC will be tested at the new center

Nokia and Telefónica Germany have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a joint 5G innovation cluster. The two partners said this initiative will allow them to test networks and technologies on the path to 5G.

The innovation cluster will be located at Telefonica’s lab in Munich, Germany. The two companies also said the cluster will be followed by trials in the operator’s live network, currently planned with priority in Berlin with the objective of building a benchmark network with 4.5G, 4.9G and 5G technology.

Under the agreement, the Finnish vendor will focus on trials that maximize the use of existing network assets and help Telefónica to meet the evolving demand and explore new business opportunities.

Some of the technologies to be implemented by Nokia in the innovation cluster include Massive MIMO, and multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) for Ultra-Reliable Low latency Communications (URLLC). Nokia highlighted that URLLC will be a key technology for delivering critical communications between equipment in factories and for autonomous driving. Another area of focus for the Munich innovation cluster will be how virtual reality can be used in stadiums or at tourist sites.

“Our innovation collaboration in Germany follows a global agreement with Nokia to explore technologies on the path to 5G. Having access to Nokia’s latest portfolio will enable pre-testing and understanding new technologies thus helping us to further enhance the user experience in our network,” said Cayetano Carbajo, CTO at Telefónica Germany.

“We have a strong presence in Telefónica’s radio network in Germany and it is important that we work jointly to innovate on the path to 5G, preparing the network for future demand and business opportunities,” said Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia.

In October 2017, the German operator had partnered with Chinese vendor Huawei to launch what it claimed to be the world’s first 5G-oriented antenna deployment solution. According to Huawei, the solution incorporates both a 14 port multi-band antenna and a TDD 3.5GHz Massive MIMO antenna to meet Telefonica’s requirements for an easy network evolution towards 5G.

In March last year, Telefonica Germany launched a 3.5 GHz LTE TDD Massive MIMO field trial, running 16 terminals simultaneously over 20 megahertz of spectrum on the 3.5 GHz band with a peak downlink rate of 650 Mbps. The trial was carried out in the telco’s network in the city of Munich. Throughout the trial, Telefónica verified the performance of TDD Massive MIMO, as part of the Munich TechCity project being carried out by Telefónica and Huawei.

In addition to Massive MIMO, Telefónica and Huawei also said they have made great progress in other TechCity projects in Munich including indoor digitalization and NB-IoT.

Telefonica Germany, part of Spanish telecommunications group Telefonica had almost 53 million lines at the end of the third quarter of last year.

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