Telefónica puts virtualisation, radio at the heart of new 5G lab

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Telefónica will focus on virtualisation and radio systems in its forthcoming 5G research centre in Madrid.

The 5TONIC centre will open in November 2016, with the operator working with IMDEA Networks, the Spanish regional government's research programme, and Ericsson.

There will be two areas of focus at the centre, with the first concentrating on software defined networking and network functions virtualisation, as well as security, network control and management, and cloud and signalling services.

The second will look at the wireless systems, comprising the air interface, radio, duplexing and multiplexing, spectrum and interference.

Among the various use cases of 5G, from high data transmission rates and low latencies, that Telefónica identified was the remote control of robots and connection of a massive level of sensors.

Enrique Blanco, Telefónica Global CTO, said: “The opening of this centre is a step forward for Telefónica which has been actively participating in a wide spectrum of international projects, industrial associations, and standardisation of 5G technologies organisms.

"The centre of 5G excellence in Madrid will allow us to test, choose, and prioritise the functionalities of the candidate networks and services that will be part of future 5G networks, in order for the resulting system to be consistent and coherent. We don’t want the 5G networks start-up to be a specific single event, but rather a process which we want to begin right now.”

Telefónica was also a founding member of the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, which formally opened last month.

Meanwhile, Ericsson is at the centre of a wide range of 5G research projects, most recently announcing a look at future infrastructure requirements.