BT and Nokia join forces to bring UK 5G

mmWave and IoT compatibility tests come ahead of official government plan

BT and Nokia have agreed to work together to advance 5G technologies, bringing us one step closer to ultrafast mobile connectivity.

The companies will collaborate on a number of trials to test mmWave radio spectrum and convergence as enablers for the new technology, alongside how it would work with the Internet of Things.

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Mobile gaming and driverless cars could stand to greatly benefit from 5G, thanks to greatly reduced latency and ultrafast speeds.

BT-owned EE's 4G network will cover 95% of the UK by 2020, according to Howard Watson, chief executive of BT technology, service and operations.

Nokia is currently trialling 5G-ready radio equipment at BT labs in Suffolk, using Nokia AirScale radio access and a new 5G frame structure.

5G is the next generation of wireless mobile technology, and will be significantly faster than the current 4G and 3G. In theory, on a 5G connection you could download 33 HD videos within a single second.

2020 is the date widely touted as the earliest we'll be able to take advantage of such speeds, though given that the benchmarks have been chalked up in lab conditions, it's unlikely to be quite as speedy out in the wild.

The UK government will establish a 5G strategy next year, in an effort to secure a place among technology world leaders.

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Last month a coalition of close to 20 major telecoms providers offered to work together to create 5G networks across Europe in exchange for the EU softening its stance on open internet.

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