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Telefónica boosts 5G research with Huawei partnership

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Telefónica has bolstered its 5G research plans by signing a memorandum of understanding with Huawei to collaborate on the tech.

Both companies will work on developing air interface technology, performance evaluation and prototype verification.

Last month, the Spanish operator announced it was setting up a 5G lab. The 5TONIC Centre will open in November 2016, with work focusing on virtualisation and radio systems.

The MoU was signed in Hong Kong earlier this month, at Huawei's Global Mobile Broadband Forum.

[Read more: Huawei: Governments need to give telcos more backing]

Enrique Blanco, Telefonica Group CTO, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Huawei to cooperate on the next generation of mobile communications technology.

"5G will have massive impact on the telecommunication industry and in society as a whole. Telefónica doesn´t want the 5G networks start-up to be a specific single event, but rather a process which we want to begin right now."

The collaboration marks the latest 5G project Huawei has launched with operators. The vendor is also working with Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and several Asian operators.

David Wang, President of Huawei Wireless Product Line, said: "Telefónica has profound understanding of needs from the most valuable and profitable markets and subtle insights into the future trends of these needs.

"Huawei now is investing a tremendous research effort into the 5G key enabling technology. Our collaboration with Telefónica is at the very heart of this commitment: to help build better connected societies, businesses and economies, and ensuring 5G success is essential in achieving this.”