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December 8, 2016

BT and Huawei team up for 5G network trials

5G is expected to be integral in connecting future technologies such as the Internet of Things.

By Alexander Sword

BT and Huawei are collaborating on developing 5G as they aim to lead industry adoption in the next generation of cellular technology.

The UK telco and the Chinese networking company will conduct joint research into the commercial and technical feasibility of deploying the faster mobile communication technology and how it might be used.

This will cover network architecture, radio frequency, network resource allocation, machine-to-machine communications and security.

The research will take place at the BT Labs in Ipswich. The companies have previously collaborated on connectivity trials, including one which achieved 3Tbps data transfer over BT’s core network.


5G benefits, according to the European Commission-supported study “Identification and quantification of key socio-economic data to support strategic planning for the introduction of 5G in Europe”.

5G is the next generation of cellular connectivity technology that will follow the 4G which is now widely available in modern day smartphones.

The technology is receiving more attention from policy-makers, with UK Chancellor Philip Hammond recently pledging new funding for 5G alongside fixed fibre technologies.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT said: “We are determined to maximise the potential of 5G for our customers, so collaborative research has a key role to play as the technology develops. This partnership with Huawei will see us explore the potential uses and make sure 5G is designed to meet the needs of our consumer and business customers throughout the world.

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“Huawei and BT have a strong record of collaboration when it comes to developing cutting-edge communications technologies, and we’re pleased to be building on that relationship to pioneer tomorrow’s mobile services.”

Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman of the Board and rotating CEO at Huawei said: “We are very proud of our work with BT over the last eleven years. We have conducted joint research and development activities which have led to new products and solutions and with 5G we look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership.

“Together we can explore the potential of 5G networks and analyse how this vital technology can best be delivered. The partnership also demonstrates Huawei’s continued commitment to partnering with world-leading business and academic organisations in the UK to further research and development. We have operated in the UK for fifteen years and we look forward to continuing to help build a better connected UK in partnership with BT.”

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