Rohde & Schwarz and Chinese chip company Unigroup Spreadtrum & RDA signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint operator test lab in China as well as extend their existing test relationships to include 5G work.

The two companies said that at the new joint lab, they will “focus on wireless communications and test concepts to better serve their common customers, including the three Chinese network operators and other global operators that Rohde & Schwarz has been serving for many years.” Rohde & Schwarz will provide product support and technical expertise, with support for both sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave chipset design, and the two companies will do “collaboration testing for the requirements of network operators around the world.

“The common goal is to enable chipset solutions that better fit global operators’ requirements,” the two companies said in a statement.

The collaboration includes chipset development, development of 5G testing and 5G mobile phone research using devices from Spreadtrum to speed up 5G chip prototyping. Rohde & Schwarz and Spreadtrum also said that based on their previous work together, they’ll also be looking at optimization of manufacturing testing for 5G to cut costs and improve time to market for 5G products.

The MOU also covers broadcast testing, and the two companies added that “further cooperation … will look at automotive electronics and cellular and non-cellular IoT applications.”

Unigroup Spreadtrum & RDA has notched a number of collaborative agreements at Mobile World Congress. In addition to the MOU with Rohde & Schwarz, Unigroup Spreadtrum also this week announced a long-term, strategic collaboration with Intel on a 5G mobile platform in which Intel’s modems will be combined with Spreadtrum’s application processor technology; and extended a decade-long collaboration with Keysight Technologies (which includes a joint innovation center in Shanghai) to include 5G chipset validation and related work.


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