BT partners with Ericsson and King's College for 5G projects

24 February 2017 | James Pearce


BT has partnered with Ericsson and King’s College London on a multi-year collaboration agreement to develop 5G projects.

The projects will be centred around developing real world use cases for the commercial and consumer markets, with a strong focus on mission-critical services like the medical sector.

The agreement forms part of BT’s ambition to become the first operator to bring 5G to market in the UK, with research being carried out at BT’s Proof of Concept Center in Adastral Park, Ipswich.

Ericsson helped BT to build the centre, and is involved in testing network architecture that will be used to deliver commercial 5G services.

Ericsson SVP and head of business unit IT and cloud products Anders Lindblad said: “5G is the foundation for expanding the potential to all Industries.  The cooperation with BT to trial services using 5G technology demonstrates Ericsson's commitment to drive market demand and adoption. 

“By establishing network slices in the context of 5G will be like virtual networks on-demand, and will be crucial for the mission-critical services being trialled.”

Technologies being explored include low latency communication and network slicing, key for use cases in communications technology, robotics and haptic control.

Howard Watson, CEO, BT Technology, service & operations, and BT group CIO, says: "The initial focus of the collaboration is on Proof of Concept solutions and trials of services needing both high availability and low latency - both key features of the forthcoming 5G technology." 

“In 2016, BT bought EE, the United Kingdom's leading 4G network provider. Together, we have the opportunity to build on our existing infrastructure to create a truly converged fixed and mobile network. We look forward to working with Ericsson and Kings College London as we examine the possibilities of 5G, and what it can deliver in terms of flexibility, scalability and the high bandwidths that our customers will require in the future."

It comes just a day after Verizon announced real-world tests of 5G technology in 11 states in the US. 5G is set to be a hot topic at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with numerous carriers and vendors expected to demonstrate the next generation of wireless connectivity.