On the eve of Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, China Mobile has announced new partnerships with both Nokia and Ericsson aimed at exploring new business opportunities from 5G and the IoT.
China Mobile and Nokia have signed an agreement aimed at jointly investigating how the operator can extend its service offerings for industry verticals using the superior characteristics of 5G.
The agreement, which extends the companies' existing 5G collaboration, will see the partners jointly research and trial 5G use cases using Nokia's 5G Future X network architecture as well as narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and mobile edge computing (MEC).
Through the joint research, the companies aim to better understand how industries can be integrated into the smart city ecosystem and benefit from the introduction of technologies such as 5G-connected automated vehicles.
In addition, the collaboration will cover ways to enhance future network architecture security using intelligent network protection techniques.
China Mobile will also work with Ericsson to develop IoT opportunities for industry verticals and enterprises.
The two companies will jointly build an Industry IoT Cooperation Center to plan for and develop IoT Connectivity and IoT ecosystem solutions in areas such as manufacturing, industry, health, and intelligent transport.
The companies will also strengthen cooperation in 5G standardization and 5G networks and jointly develop 5G network-enabled use cases for industries.
The partnership aims to provide government, enterprise and individual customers with richer communications and information infrastructure a well as digital services in the era of Industry 4.0.
Ericsson has separately signed an agreement with Australia's Telstra aimed at developing a technology roadmap for the operator's transition to 5G.
Telstra will use Ericsson technology to introduce 5G-like characteristics into its extensive 4G mobile infrastructure, and both companies are developing virtualization capabilities that will support both the growth in 4G services and the rapid introduction of 5G functions as network software.
Nokia has meanwhile entered a partnership with Facebook to expand the ecosystem for fixed wireless access over 60-GHz spectrum for urban or suburban areas.
The solution will combine Nokia's wireless PON technology with Facebook's 60-GHz, multi-node Terragraph solution for high-speed wireless access.
Combining WPON with Terragraph's mesh-routing and multi-hop capabilities is expected to allow broadband providers to wirelessly deliver gigabit services over wider areas with high reliability.