TIM and MTS tap Qualcomm, Ericsson for 5G partnerships

News

TIM and MTS announced new 5G research agreements today, as a Mobile World Congress that has been dominated by discussions of the technology draws to a close.

TIM announced a wide-ranging deal with chipmaker Qualcomm, which will see them carrying out trials of 5G and building new business models around the standard.

Qualcomm will supply the operator with mobile test platforms built on its Snapdragon X50 5G modem, as well as devices for LTE and Wi-Fi.

The companies will conduct a trial in the second half of the year to measure performance for 5G New Radio, but did not release details of where or precisely when.

In addition, they will collaborate to find use cases for the next generation standard, particularly in the area of the IoT.

They will also aim to build services based on analytics using data collected via the network from devices, networks, applications and services, as well as look to build innovative mobile and landline products.

Amos Genish, TIM CEO, said: “With this agreement with Qualcomm Technologies, we once more confirm our dedication to offer to our customers the best customer experience ever, by combining the most innovative and highly performing services and solutions with a simple and clear customer service.”

The conference also saw TIM demonstrating a connected factory installation, built in collaboration with vendor Ericsson and industrial automation company Comau.

The demo was based on a proof of concept developed in Italy, which shows how 5G can provide real-time communication between workers, robots and factory equipment.

The solution arose from a collaboration agreement signed last year, which also involved the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies.

TIM said the first results showed that “5G is a perfect tool for advanced industries that want to take advantage of digital transformation”.

Russian operator MTS also announced a tie-up with Ericsson, a research partnership in the city of Innopolis in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan.

The centre will use Ericsson 5G and IoT solutions to build products and explore new business opportunities, which will be evaluated on a local basis before potentially being scaled to a global level.

In addition to conducting research, the companies will seek collaboration with local partners, residents and start-ups in the city, which is known for being based on high-tech and digital industries.

Activities will begin at the centre in the second quarter of this year.

Valery Shorzhin, VP of Procurement and Administration at MTS, said: "The launch of a joint R&D Center will significantly accelerate the introduction of innovative products to the market.

“We hope that the research work of both companies will allow us to bring new developments not only to the Russian but also to the global market. MTS has all the necessary competencies and experience in creating innovative products gained from its own Innovation Center and IoT Lab.”

Read more from MWC: Bouygues Telecom, Altice sign up Huawei for 5G trials

Vodafone, TIM deploy new virtualisation technologies