BASE signs LTE-A, 5G research deal with ZTE

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Belgium's BASE is to research Internet of Things, LTE-Advanced and 5G technologies after signing a partnership agreement with ZTE.

The operator's parent company Telenet announced its mobile arm will explore massive MIMO, LTE broadcast, multi-user shared access, filter bank OFDM, which increases spectral efficiency, virtual cells and network slicing.

Telenet CTO Micha Berger said: “We are happy to be engaged for a couple of months with ZTE. We are convinced this partnership will allow us to offer a top quality mobile network for existing and future needs all over Belgium.”

In August last year, the telcos signed a wide-ranging network modernisation agreement worth €250 million that covered BASE's network.

ZTE decommissioned 2G base stations, optimised 3G and LTE coverage to deliver increased network capacity and laid the groundwork for the evolution through LTE-Advanced technologies as part of the deal.

At Mobile World Congress in March, both companies held a live demonstration of LTE-Advanced on BASE's network, which resulted in speeds of 1.3GBps.

ZTE claimed the demonstration was the first for an operator in Europe to deliver those speeds under real-world conditions.

The vendor's Senior Vice President Xiao Ming said: “This agreement provides a solid foundation for Telenet and ZTE to expand and strengthen the long-term partnership on the way to a new 5G era.”

Last month, ZTE said it was holding tests with Telekom Austria Group subsidiary velcom of NB-IoT ahead of a nationwide rollout across Belarus.

The Chinese vendor is also working with VEON on a rollout of NFV, as well as collaborating with Turkcell on the development of 5G technology.