Telefonica launches 5G research lab near Madrid

29 October 2015 |


Telefonica and IMDEA Networks have opened a 5G research laboratory near Madrid, Spain.

The 5TONIC centre aims to bring the business and academic worlds together to further the development of 5G technologies.

Due to open next month, the centre is located at the office of IMDEA Networks on the outskirts of Madrid and will include testing facilities. It is expected to remain open until the first 5G products become commercially available, which is estimated to be in 2020.

The centre will focus on two areas. One unit will be dedicated to virtualisation software for 5G networks, which will include network functions virtualisation (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN), security services, network control and management planes, cloud services and signalling services. The second unit will look at the 5G wireless systems area, including air interface, radio aspects, duplexing, multiplexing, media access control, spectrum, interference and mobility tracking.

 “The centre of 5G excellence in Madrid will allow us to test, choose, and prioritise the functionalities of the candidate networks and services that will be part of future 5G networks, in order for the resulting system to be consistent and coherent. We don’t want the 5G networks start-up to be a specific single event, but rather a process which we want to begin right now,” said Enrique Blanco, CTO, Telefonica Global.

Telefonica is also a founding partner of the 5G Innovation Centre of the University of Surrey.