The Finnish vendor also confirmed that Indian carrier Bharti Airtel will trial its 5G-ready fronthaul solution

Nokia and Korean telecom operator KT have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate and trial various 5G technologies, including network function virtualization and network slicing.

The joint work will include service orchestration and assurance. The trials are planned to take place in Seoul later this year, the vendor said.

During the tests, Nokia said it will use its portfolio of software applications and services, while KT will trial an end-to-end network service platform for network slicing. Network slicing is considered a key feature of 5G that will allow carriers to tailor different parts of their network capacity to different subscribers and applications, such as connected vehicles and internet of things use cases, the two companies noted.

Both companies are also working on a proof of concept to automate interworking and 5G. The PoC will evaluate hosting, orchestrating, automating and managing KT’s 5G virtual network functions environment.

“We are excited to partner with Nokia to conduct these path-breaking trials,” said Hongbeom Jeon, CTO of KT. “Virtualization and network slicing will allow us to offer new and innovative services, such as connected cars, virtual reality, IoT use cases and smart factory, while helping us to bring down our operational costs.”

“With Korea one of the lead countries in the early deployment of 5G, we are delighted to be working with KT to help them build a future-ready network. Nokia’s end-to-end portfolio will empower KT to improve its customer experience and network efficiency,” said Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia Software.

In related news, Nokia said that Indian carrier Bharti Airtel will trial its 5G-ready fronthaul solution which can support 4G, 5G and enterprise services through a common platform.

The solution supports multiple interfaces, including the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and enhanced CPRI, Nokia said.

“Airtel has always set the benchmark when it comes to roll-out of latest network technologies. The upgrade of the transport network is also essential to cater to the booming consumption of mobile broadband services and enable world-class digital services. Nokia is our longstanding partner and we look forward to their support in our journey towards 5G,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO at Bharti Airtel.

Sanjay Malik, head of the India market at Nokia, said that “the modernization of the transport infrastructure is crucial for ensuring the ultra-high speed and extremely low latency, promised by 5G.

“We look forward to this trial with Bharti Airtel, which is a crucial step towards preparing the networks for 5G,” he added. “The ring architecture will help in adding resiliency to the network and ensure that the network is able to meet the ever-growing bandwidth demand of their customers.”

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