MWC: KT brings Nokia and Ericsson on board for 5G/IoT projects

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Nokia and Ericsson will collaborate with Korea Telecom on 5G and IoT following the signing of new memorandums of understanding (MoUs) at Mobile World Congress.

The first MoU sees Nokia and Korea Telecom establish an IoT and LTE-M lab to develop business models aimed at convergence technologies and the automotive industry.

LTE-M, or LTE for machine-to-machine communications, is a “pre-5G” LTE variant that will be integrated into 5G, Nokia explained. According to the vendor, the technology provides over 10 years of battery life and 15 dB additional coverage.

Nokia described LTE-M as “the key enabler” for connecting the billions of devices that are required for IoT to the networks.

The vendor will support KT across all three of its businesses: in addition to its core Networks unit, HERE and Nokia Technologies are also committed to the project with KT. 

The lab will be established on Korea Telecom premises. Dr. Chang-Gyu Hwang, the operator’s Chairman and CEO, said: "KT also believes that the IoT era presents huge opportunities for manufacturers, operators, and service providers, and aims to boost the IoT ecosystem by providing ICT convergence services and collaborating with industry leaders. 

“We believe the strategic partnership between Nokia and KT can accelerate future innovation by leveraging new business models in IoT and 5G, and the joint demonstration of LTE-M at MWC is an example of this. The collaboration between the two companies will lay solid foundations for us to move forward in the IoT world."

Nokia revealed it would also work with KT to deliver 5G trials during the 2018 Winter olympics in PyeongChang.

Rajeev Suri, President and CEO of Nokia, said: "Through our collaboration with KT, we aim to provide new solutions for what we call the 'Programmable World' that will expand our possibilities as the things around us such as cars and watches will be connected and therefore able to automatically inform us, adapt to our behaviour or business processes, learn and organise themselves.”

KT’s MoU with Ericsson, meanwhile, puts in place an agreement to explore R&D opportunities related to 5G communications and relevant businesses.

Specifically, the companies will work together on 5G standardisation, spectrum strategy, network architecture and deployment scenarios as well as “massive-scale” connectivity for IoT.

The MoU builds on a previous 5G partnership between Ericsson and the operator signed last November, the vendor revealed.

Thomas Norén, VP and Head of Radio Product Management at Ericsson, said: "5G will be a key component in the industry's movement toward the Networked Society. KT is an early driver of technology, and we believe that the collaboration with KT will provide benefits to users and to industries. With ultra-high bit rates of more than 10 Gbps, we will deliver radio network capability of more than 1,000 times today's LTE networks." 

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