Feature Article

February 19, 2016

Ericsson and Telefonica Work Together to Prepare for 5G

It’s not exactly a surprise at this point that 5G is well on its way to becoming a reality and that when it does, it’s going to change everything. Until then, however, it’s up to network operators and equipment manufacturers to define the requirements and specifications of 5G and install the hardware and software necessary to meet those requirements. In the case of Ericsson and Telefonica, this is exactly what’s happening.

Network equipment manufacturer Ericsson and global operator Telefonica recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of 5G technologies, products and services. Together, the two companies will jointly support new and ongoing initiatives that will boost the development of 5G technologies, as well as the environment in which they can evolve.

Specific focus will be placed on the 5G PPP and ETP Networld 2020 programs promoted by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 program. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation program ever conceived that aims to make breakthroughs, discoveries and world firsts.

Ericsson and Telefonica’s partnership has already begun with the creation of the first 5G laboratory of excellence by Telefonica’s innovation unit, Telefonica I+D, and IMDEA Networks Institute in Spain. Dubbed 5TONIC, the laboratory is intended to create an open ecosystem for innovation and research. Ericsson is the first manufacturer to join the initiative as part of its 5G Europe program.

“5G is an evolution journey, and the transition will be gradual with deployment of complete, commercial 5G systems not expected until 2020,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, CTO of Ericsson. “To achieve the expected capabilities of 5G, investments in joint research and trialing of 5G technologies must continue. We're proud to partner with Telefonica to pioneer this work.”

Future initiatives planned for the Ericsson-Telefonica partnership include research, debate, field testing and demonstrations of technology and equipment to support eventual 5G network architecture, communications, services and applications.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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