Optus has cut a deal with Nokia to bring 5G to reality

Photo: Scott Barbour/ Getty.

Optus and Nokia will collaborate on rolling out a 5G network for the telco next year in a deal that will bring the Internet of Things to life.

The Singapore and Finnish multinationals signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the network evolution to 5G, which will also enable extreme broadband and ultra-low latency applications.

Optus says a key project will be a 5G trial using its 3500MHz spectrum, a globally harmonised band for mobile broadband.

Tay Soo Meng, group chief technology officer, at the telco’s parent company, Singtel, said Optus has conducted initial closed tests with Nokia in Sydney on a new 5G radio test bed.

He said the demonstration showed the extended capability using virtual reality video content, as well as low-latency networking that could deliver industrial uses such as real-time responsive robots.

“The potential use for 5G is growing. Through this partnership, the commencement of joint studies, and in-lab and in-field testing, we are primed to explore this technology,” Tay said.

“We are also preparing the network across transport and core networks, through virtualised network functions and cloud infrastructure”.

They’ve also conducted a trial on the capability of Narrow Band-Internet of Things (IoT) to support the connectivity for IoT applications.

Nokia is pushing hard to restore the primacy it once enjoyed before the likes of Samsung and Apple began to dominate the smartphone era, is banking on 5G as central to its revival and under the MoU, will share its developments with Optus.

Ray Owen, head of Oceania at Nokia, said his company is well on the way to bringing 5G technology to reality.

“We have a number of ongoing 5G innovation projects with operators around the world and we hope to bring the same commitment to our partnership with Optus and Singtel,” he said.

“Our experience and expertise in this area will go a long way in setting a strong foundation for Optus in Australia.”

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