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Ericsson and China Unicom team up over 5G, IoT and cloud

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Networking giant Ericsson has continued its next generation technology collaboration drive by signing an agreement with China Unicom covering R&D of 5G, IoT and cloud.

The agreement MoU (memorandum of understanding) was signed on 27 April but the two companies decided to keep it under their hats until today. It seems to follow the increasingly common pattern for broad but nebulous agreements between operators and kit vendors vowing to work together on nascent technologies. Ericsson, apparently, has already announced over 20 5G R&D agreements with operators around the world already.

Here are some of the more specific areas the two companies will help each other out on:

  • Next-generation network architecture for fixed mobile convergence
  • Cooperation on 5G standardization, research into key technologies and joint testing
  • Studies of network visualization and 5G network slicing
  • Joint promotion of software-defined networking (SDN) projects in standardization groups and SDN solution verification
  • Mobile cellular IoT network end-to-end solutions and services
  • Support China Unicom’s ‘Focus Strategy’, commercial network evolution solution and low-cost coverage solution deployment and practice.

Ericsson is a long-term strategic partner of China Unicom,” said Guanglu Shao, China Unicom VP. “As the transformation toward next-generation networks approaches, we hope to strengthen the partnership with Ericsson, the world-leading company, in technology and business development – especially in 5G, IoT and cloud – in order to win the future.”

“With Ericsson’s industry leading technology, portfolio and global experience, China Unicom will be more competitive in networks and get ready to embrace the opportunities of network transformation,” said Chris Houghton, regional head for Ericsson.

Mobile World Congress earlier this year was awash with 5G and IoT partnership news as the whole industry jostled for position ahead of a technological revolution everyone agrees will be huge, but which remains largely undefined. With Huawei apparently going from strength to strength, strategic partnerships with Chinese operators take on special strategic significance for Ericsson.

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