South Korea’s second largest mobile operator KT has signed an agreement with Alcatel-Lucent to jointly develop and test radio access technologies that could eventually be the foundation for 5G networks.
The two companies will initially focus on Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualised RAN (radio access network) technology. The agreement also calls for developing and testing ultra-broadband access, network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies to support next-generation mobile architectures.
KT CTO Dong-Myun Lee said it is “eager to use Alcatel-Lucent’s vRAN and SDN technology to help us implement the 5G architecture that we have defined in our GiGatopia Vision”.
Operators and vendors across the region have announced a raft of 5G partnerships since Q4 last year. They are attempting to drive development of 5G technology, which isn’t actually likely to be officially ratified as a standard until 2016 at the earliest.
Rival SK Telecom agreed in January to conduct joint research with Nokia Networks to develop core 5G network technologies, such as gigabit-level data communications and cloud-based virtualised base station technology. Their first step will be to set up a test bed at SKT’s R&D centre in Seoul to demonstrate 5G technologies.
Singtel and Ericsson also agreed in January to work together to test potential 5G technologies to be included in its future standardisation. The duo say the partnership will cover workshops to align 5G requirements as well as trials for potential 5G technologies.
In November the Singapore operator announced it planned to set up a 5G joint innovation programme with Huawei.