Huawei And Telefonica Join Forces For 5G Development

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Partners will work together on a number of 5G technologies after agreeing deal at Huawei MBBF 2015

Huawei and Telefonica will work together on the development of 5G after signing a memorandum of understanding at the Huawei Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) in Hong Kong earlier this month.

The Chinese telecoms equipment giant has been heavily involved with the development of 5G, and has entered into similar arrangements with the likes of Vodafone, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom and Korea Telecom.

5G is still being standardised and there is much debate about how the final specification will look like. There are a number of projects around the world working on candidate technologies and it is believed the standard could be finalised next year.

Read More: What is 5G and how is it different from 4G?

Huawei 5G push

Huawei Telefonica 5GThere is a general consensus that next generation networks will offer faster speeds, low latency, more efficient energy use and higher capacity – characteristics that can help support the expected growth in IoT applications.

Telefonica, which has agreed a deal to sell O2 in the UK to Hutchison for £10.25 billion, will work with Huawei on areas including key air interface technology, performance evaluation and prototype verification.

“5G will have massive impact on the telecommunication industry and in society as a whole,” said Telefonica CTO Enrique Blanco. “Telefonica doesn´t want the 5G networks start-up to be a specific single event, but rather a process which we want to begin right now.”

“Telefonica has profound understanding of needs from the most valuable and profitable markets and subtle insights into the future trends of these needs. Huawei now is investing a tremendous research effort into the 5G key enabling technology,” added Huawei’s president of wireless products David Wang. “Our collaboration with Telefonica is at the very heart of this commitment: to help build better connected societies, businesses and economies, and ensuring 5G success is essential in achieving this.”

It is widely expected that the first commercial 5G networks will go live in 2020, with Huawei’s rival Ericsson predicting there will be 150 million 5G subscriptions by 2021.

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