Ericsson is to explore unified network infrastructure for 5G as part of its latest research project into next generation technology.
The vendor is working with universities and telcos including Deutsche Telekom, Huawei, Orange, Telecome Italia, Telefónica and Telenor on the 5GEx project, which launches this month and will run until March 2018.
Ericsson said the research will centre on cross-domain service orchestration across multiple or multi-domain single administrations. The orchestration will be compatible with both network functions virtualisation and software defined networking.
By offering a multi-vendor environment, Ericsson said operators would be able to launch products quicker through automated service provisoning. Enterprises will also be able to host the likes of firewalls and routers on a virtual platform.
Sara Mazur, Head of Ericsson Research, said: "A unified European 5G infrastructure service market will be a strong enabler for feature-rich services that can have a positive impact on people, business and society.
"As a leader in the development of 5G and a partner in several industry collaboration initiatives, we are excited to lead the 5GEx project and contribute to realizing the full benefits of 5G."
5GEx is the latest research project Ericsson has launched to explore the potential of 5G. It is the key coordinator of the EU's METIS-II project, which is determining the spectrum roadmap for 5G, as well as developing standards and system architecture.
Last week, the vendor held a demonstration with SK Telecom, which involved the successful slicing of 5G. The demo split a physical network into multiple virtual ones, which could then be used for different purposes.