Nokia Networks gets 5G welcome to China Mobile Research Institute

Parties to combine on 5G research and on fostering Standards cooperation

In the past two years, Nokia has signed not one, but two billion Euro framework agreements for the supply of LTE equipment to China Mobile, so it would make sense for the two companies to also combine on research into new mobile technologies.

That’s probably why Nokia has just become the first network equipment manufacturer from outside China to sign a 5G-related MoU with China Mobile’s research arm, CMRI. The two parties are calling the agreement a “strategic collaboration”.

The two companies have said they are working together jointly on a few areas, including using their influence to enhance cooperation within global Standards Development Organisations such as 3GPP and ITU.

Both companies will also work on prototyping key technical features, such as multi-connectivity and Massive MIMO, and model 5G use cases and services scenarios.

There’s often a lot of hype about regional and national 5G “firsts” – with a perceived Europe/Asia/North America race – but this sort of collaboration shows the power of a vendor acting globally with national partners to bring a certain harmonisation. It’s worth noting that the EU has also worked to develop EU-Chinese collaboration in 5G.