The Chinese vendor also announced an agreement with an Italian telco to build a 5G pre-commercial network

French telecoms group Orange Group and Chinese vendor ZTE Corporation have announced a partnership to cooperate in the development of 5G technologies Under the terms of the agreement, teams from both companies will work together on 5G and  related use cases.

ZTE and Orange will partner on testing several key 5G enabling technologies, such as standalone architecture, new 5G core network, end-to-end network slicing and 5G overlay architectures.

“Preparing 5G network deployment is key for Orange. We are happy to collaborate with ZTE on  a new generation core network and 5G standalone architecture in order to minimize the impact on legacy network and demonstrate the full promise of 5G such as enabling very low latencies and network slicing for our customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa,” said Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon, SVP Orange Labs Networks, said.

The vendor also announced a partnership with Italian telco Wind Tre and fiber network operator Open Fiber, to build what it claims to be Europe’s first 5G pre-commercial network in the 3.6 GHz to 3.8 GHz band.

Wind Tre and Open Fiber plan to conduct 5G pre-commercial trials in the Italian provinces of L’Aquila and Prato.

ZTE plans to provide a 5G end-to-end network solution for the pre-commercial field test and partner with Wind Tre, Open Fiber, local universities, and enterprises to test and verify 5G technical performance, network architecture, 4G/5G network integration and future 5G use cases, including AR/VR, smart city, public safety, 5G healthcare and Industry 4.0.

ZTE also confirmed plans to build a ZTE 5G innovation and research center in L’Aquila.

To date, ZTE has signed 5G strategic partnerships with China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, SoftBank (Japan), Telefonica (Spain), Telenet (Belgium) and KT (South Korea).

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