Under the agreement, ZTE will provide technical support, applications and terminals

Chinese vendor ZTE has signed a strategic agreement with Middle East telecommunications group Ooredoo to foster cooperation in the 5G field.

The agreement, which was signed during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, stipulates that both parties will jointly conduct technology verification tests in 5G, in order to accelerate the commercialization and rollout in the Middle East region.

Under the terms of the agreement, ZTE will provide Ooredoo Group comprehensive technical support including end-to-end networks, applications and terminals. The two parties will complete the joint verification of 5G technology architecture, business model and user experience.

“We hope that through the strategic cooperation this time, we can strengthen existing cooperation and jointly explore the future direction of network construction and technology evolution, and promote our 5G ecosystem building across our footprint,” said Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al-Thani, CEO of Ooredoo Group.

ZTE has entered into 5G partnerships with several operators worldwide, including Telefonica, T-Mobile, Wind Tre, Telenet, Veon, Telecom Malaysia, KT, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

Also, during the Mobile World Congress, ZTE announced that togethere with Belarusian telecommunication operator Velcom, has deployed what it claims to be the first commercial 5G-ready virtual core network in Belarus.

Velcom’s 5G-Ready virtual core network is based on an open industry standard infrastructure, following Open Stack and Devops mechanism, ZTE said.

The vendor said that this technology allows fast service deployment, both by default and flexible usage for upcoming 5G applications. It is also applicable with legacy networks such as 2G, 3G or 4G. The telco’s new 5G-ready network will enable the provision of new services like massive IoT, autonomous driving, real time VR and ultra-low latency applications will be possible.

In addition, The Belarusian telco is in process to implement ZTE´s SDN based end-to-end IP+Optical network solution.

“We were able to set up a cutting-edge technology as an open standard by implementing a flexible solution. Now we are ready to face upcoming requirements for future 5G applications by marginal upgrades, said Christian Laqué, CTO of Velcom.

In related news, ZTE also launched its 2/3/4/5G fully-integrated Common Core solution at Mobile World Congress 2018.

Based on the 3GPP R15 service-based architecture (SBA), the new solution integrates all kinds of accessing modes including fixed-mobile convergence in the layer of network functions (NF) and network services (NS).

“ZTE Common Core, based on the cloud native concept, uses open microservice components, a carrier-grade visual DevOps tool and lightweight container technology, to equip network slices and network functions with on-demand orchestration, rapid deployment, flexible elasticity and high reliability,” the company said in a statement.

“On the basis of full virtualization, it achieves the decoupling of an underlying cloud platform and the decoupling of software and hardware, and it leverages software and hardware acceleration technologies to meet the high speed, low latency, high reliability and other requirements of 5G application scenarios.”

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