MTS and Ericsson to co-operate on developing 5G in Russia

Aim is for MTS to be able to demonstrate 5G during the 2018 World Cup in football in Russia, with the first test system to be deployed in 2016

MTS and Ericsson to co-operate on developing 5G in Russia

Ericsson and Russian mobile operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) are to cooperate on 5G research and deployment in Russia. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering spectrum studies of the next generation network and the building of a test system.

The companies will focus initially on development of requirements and use cases, as well as performance evaluation and applicability of potential 5G key technology components. The project will support a dialogue with government regulators concerning the bands being targeted for 5G and requirements for next generation systems.

The partnership will also lead to implementation of 5G-related technologies in MTS' network, such as Ericsson Lean Carrier and the use of unlicensed spectrum, and other technologies that use the design concepts Ericsson is developing for 5G.

The agreement involves the cooperation of the two companies in the following areas:

• Joint dialogue with regulators about the use of the frequency spectrum for 5G
• In 2016, the implementation of a pilot project in LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed) / LAA (Licensed-Assisted Access) that involves the use of the LTE radio interface in the unlicensed 5GHz band together with Wi-Fi access points. The solution provides better coverage and capacity, and combines the existing Wi-Fi networks with mobile network resources
• Testing Ericsson Lean Carrier technology. The solution uses 5G's lean architecture to optimise the signalling traffic between cells, eliminate interference, simplify network planning and increase data speed
• Demonstration of new radio technologies for Internet of Things: EC-GSM (Extended Coverage for GSM), LTE-M (for Machine-type communications), NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT). The technologies will leverage existing GSM and LTE networks via software-only upgrades to provide improved deep-indoor coverage, long battery life and low-cost, low-complexity device support for the wide range of Internet of Things applications
• In 2017, the deployment of 5G pilot solutions using high-speed data transmission in the 15 GHz band
• Construction of the test area for the demonstration of 5G technology solutions during the World Cup 2018 in football in Russia.

Andrey Ushatskiy, Vice President, Technology and IT, Chief Technology and Information Officer, MTS, said: "While requirements for the new communication standard are in the development stage, it is important for our company to be closely involved in this process, which led to signing the agreement with Ericsson.

“Next year, we will start to test our key vendor's developments through a series of pilot projects on the MTS network, in order for both of us to have a complete understanding of the performance of the solutions in our 5G networks.

“By working proactively throughout the process of 5G standardisation, we will be ready to build first stages of the principally new network that will dramatically change our lives and the role of things around us, and will empower people and horizons of knowledge in all fields -- homes, schools, medicine, science, transport, entertainment and many other areas."

Jeff Travers, Head of Customer Unit MTS, Ericsson Northern Europe and Central Asia, said: "Ericsson is driving 5G technology development together with our partners and leading operators to provide higher data speeds, lower latency and high connection reliability. This project marks an important milestone and brings the development of the most innovative technologies to Russia.

“By 2018, we plan to not only conduct research, but also to test and implement key technologies that will improve MTS network performance and application coverage. 5G will revolutionize user experiences in mobile technology during the FIFA World Cup in 2018."

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