ZTE and KT sign 5G strategic partnership in Korea


Pair to launch 5G testbed in Seoul to advance global 5G standardisation

China-based ZTE Corporation, a telecoms technology provider, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Korea-based telco, KT Corporation, for research and the commercialisation of 5G technology.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MOU), ZTE and KT will launch 5G testbed construction in Seoul, and jointly develop, present, and design the future 5G network architecture based on the testbed. The partnership between ZTE and KT will help advance 5G standardisation and the global development of the industry ecosystem. The agreement was announced this week at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai conference.

5G research is key to ZTE’s strategy to becoming a global leader in the development of next generation network technology. In June 2014, ZTE was the first vendor to propose the Pre5G concept, and the company launched its Pre5G base station integrating the baseband unit (BBU) and remote radio unit (RRU) at MWC in Barcelona in March 2015.

ZTE’s Pre5G base station enhances spectral efficiency more than fourfold by using massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) technology. In addition, this base station, which was designed by following the new ZTE Paper concept, has an elegant and stylish appearance, and has already met pre-commercial conditions. ZTE will launch other significant Pre5G technology solutions, such as the user densification network (UDN) and multi-user shared access (MUSA), in the future.

“ZTE is committed to helping operators transition successfully to 5G technology, and the agreement with a strong partner such as KT will strengthen our core capabilities,” said Xu Huijun, senior vice president of ZTE. “ZTE has a wealth of experience in technology development and network evolution. We believe that the Pre5G technology can better meet practical requirements for seamless development of networks.”

The South Korean government has been using communications technologies as a key means of achieving creative economy, and has prioritised ICT as a pillar industry of its national strategy. Korea was among the first to offer 3G and 4G services. A report of the global content delivery network (CDN) service provider Akamai shows that South Korea has the fastest Internet, highest broadband coverage rate, and highest LTE coverage rate, and was the world’s first to put LTE and LTE-A technologies into commercial use.

To take the lead in the 5G era, three major operators in South Korea have announced that they will bring forward deployment plans. In its aim to lead the industry in 5G research and standardisation, KT plans to launch commercial 5G networks at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018. ZTE Pre5G uses some 5G technologies directly on 4G networks, and provides users with 5G-like experience on 4G terminals without changing the air interface standard.



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