Telefonica Germany opens Berlin 5G cluster

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Telefónica Germany has launched its "Early 5G Innovation Cluster" in central Berlin and is planning to test Industry 4.0 and enhance mobile broadband use cases in the coming months.

The cluster spans five Nokia sites across the operator's network in Berlin-Friedrichshain. The sites use the Finnish vendor's 5G Airscale radio and Wavence Microwave technology, and will aggregate five carrier for download and two carriers for upload.

The German opco said it wished to test 5G technology under real-life conditions and work with partners on specific use cases.

It highlighted microwave technology's potential to provide backhaul for dense 4.5G, 4.9G and 5G networks, by linking small cells to fibre access points.

Cayetano Carbajo Martín, CTO of Telefónica Germany: “With our joint Innovation Cluster in Berlin we push the further development of 5G forward together. Nokia’s portfolio will enable testing the newest technology to keep moving forward fast with 5G in our network.”

Detlev Otto, customer team head for Telefónica Germany at Nokia: “The ‘Early 5G Innovation Cluster’ with Telefónica Germany is an important item on our joint innovation agenda. The insights we will gain from this cluster, located in a dense urban environment, are going to help both companies in preparing for 5G roll-outs and developing new services for Telefónica’s subscribers.” 

Earlier this year both companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at testing next generation network solutions.

They previously held trials under lab conditions, hitting data rates of 2GBps with dual band technology by using Nokia's microwave solution, as well as carrier aggregation through the vendor's AirScale hardware.

Telefónica Germany is in the midst of merging its E-Plus and O2 networks after buying the former in late 2014.

In its latest update in June, it said it has upgraded tens of thousands of sites and is activating more than 100 new LTE sites per week.