Telecom standards body ETSI and operator organisation NGMN have extended their collaboration to include work on standardising forthcoming 5G technology.
The two bodies had been working together on areas such as LTE, open radio equipment interface and the multi-SDO initiative on network management.
A new memorandum of understanding will give a "thorough framework" for the two organisations' future work. It said the new document will provide a means of exchanging draft documents and giving easier access to both bodies' specifications.
The agreement could lead to both companies issuing joint documents on particular areas. It builds upon its previous collaboration, where a body would take part in the other's meetings or instigate technical collaboration.
Peter Meissner, CEO of NGMN, said: "The new agreement honours the good and long-standing relationship between ETSI and NGMN and recognizes the importance of both organizations in shaping future mobile broadband solutions."
Luis Jorge Romero, ETSI Director General, added: “Cooperation between standards development organizations is required, in particular when dealing with subjects of common interest for the mobile industry like the development of 5G, in order to avoid conflicting standards and increased cost to the industry. We welcome the strong relationship with NGMN and the extension of our cooperation into new fields."
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to 5G has been the lack of definition about what it could be. The first 5G network is currently scheduled for 2018, when Megafon and Huawei will deploy it in time for the World Cup.
In the meantime, both Huawei and ZTE are working on concepts that will bridge LTE and 5G. Huawei has said so-called 4.5G will be able to offer speeds of 1GBps on LTE.