Nokia Networks revealed more about a MoU signed last week with China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) to co-operate on 5G development, the first for a foreign vendor.

The two firms will work together on the research, standardisation and industrialisation of 5G features such as multi-connectivity and high-speed seamless mobility.

China Mobile last week signed a one-year framework deal with Nokia Networks valued at more than $1 billion (€930 million). The MoU on 5G was part of this wider deal, although TD-LTE and VoLTE grabbed more headlines.

Indeed, parent Nokia made much of the performance of its networks business in China during last week’s quarterly financials. CEO Rajeev Suri highlighted the strong growth in the country, which partially offset decreases in sales from North America and Europe.

Nokia and CMRI will work on service scenarios and requirements for 5G, including support for IoT; combine on 5G development in international standards-making bodies such as 3GPP and ITU, as well as jointly promote TD-LTE evolution in 5G via the GTI initiative, and hunt out more spectrum.

The two will also research and develop prototype 5G features, including multi-connectivity, seamless mobility and MIMO. They will also run joint demos of typical 5G applications, as well as verifying key 5G technology and systems via field trials.

“I am happy to see that Nokia Networks is the first non-Chinese vendor to sign a 5G strategic cooperation agreement with China Mobile Research Institute. We started to actively drive 5G development in China as early as 2013, and have made great efforts to encourage Sino-EU 5G strategic cooperation,” said Vicki Zhang, head of technology, Greater China, Nokia Networks.