The 5G partnership news keeps coming from MWC 2016

A raft of new partnerships between mobile operators and equipment makers has been unveiled on the third day of Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona.

T-Mobile and Ericsson are to develop a 5G pre-standards based test system for lab and field trials in the US. They are to develop and test selected 5G use-cases and services to help T-Mobile evaluate its options as 5G technologies emerge and try out new business opportunities. Trials will begin in the second half of 2016.

Meanwhile T-Mobile US is working with another equipment maker, Nokia, on joint 5G lab testing and field trial evaluation. These trials will also begin in the second half of 2016. Nokia currently provides the LTE systems used by T-Mobile and, according to Nokia, it will provide the operator with its equipment for the 5G era.

T-Mobile and Nokia are using pre-selected spectrum in the 28Ghz band to trial and test 5G components and use cases.

“The investment we’ve made in 4G LTE puts us on the path to real 5G use cases once 5G consumer smartphones are available in 2020,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer.

Meanwhile, Swisscom announced that it is appointing Ericsson to create the underlying cloud infrastructure and virtual network function virtualisations (VNF) in order to support its planned 5G network functions.

Ericsson will build the infrastructure using its Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000, Cloud Execution Environment, Cloud SDN (software defined network) and Cloud Manager.

Ericsson VNF will be used to define the Swisscom core network, with complete virtual Evolved Packet Core and virtual IMS being managed by the Ericsson Network Manager. All the systems integration is to be carried out by Ericsson.

Elsewhere at MWC, Samsung Electronics and Deutsche Telekom said their joint end-to-end 5G demonstration was a world first. Samsung, one of Deutsche Telekom’s 5G:haus partners, introduced its 60GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) small cell solution and handheld smartphones.

In the demo two Samsung smartphones tracked the precise movements of a robotic arm from two separate angles. Ultra high definition Video in 4K was transmitted over the air without delay over Ultra High Mobile broadband (U-MBB) service using Samsung’s 60GHz radio access technology. Samsung and Deutsche Telekom got a throughput of at least 1.5 gigabit per second (Gbps) on each smartphone. This, the partners claimed, proves that 5G technology using spectrum above 6GHz could be the best option for futuristic mobile services like Tactile Internet, which needs low latency and ultra-high throughput.

According to research quoted in Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, there will be 150 million 5G subscribers by the end of 2021.

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