Telefonica intensified its 5G efforts, partnering with rival Chinese network suppliers Huawei and ZTE.

An MoU with ZTE covers the development of 5G technologies, and will strengthen its position as a strategic partner of Telefonica.

The vendor pointed out a number of areas where it reckons to be a global leader for 5G, including MIMO and beam forming technology.

ZTE added that the MoU aims to draw on multiple resources from across the industry to enable 4G-to-5G evolution. It will also boost opportunities for cooperation across different industries in areas including advanced wireless communications, IoT, network virtualisation architectures and cloud.

Meanwhile, Huawei announced a 5G & NG-RAN joint innovation agreement with the Spanish operator, following an MoU signed by the two firms in November 2015.

The agreement covers cloudRAN, 5G Radio user centric no cell, 5G core re-architect and Massive MIMO innovation projects, aiming to improve the spectrum efficiency and build a cloud-native architecture.

5G Core architecture evolution and research on CloudRAN will be the major cooperation areas between Telefonica and Huawei, the firms added.

“Telefonica has certain insights about the future trends of the mobile network. Huawei is investing massively in the 5G key enabling innovative technologies,” said David Wang, president of Huawei Wireless Network.

However, the Chinese vendors are not alone in partnering with Telefonica on 5G. In January this year, the operator signed a MoU with Ericsson which focuses on the Advanced 5G Network Infrastructure for Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP) and European Technology Platform for Communications Networks and Services, both EU-backed programmes.