Telefónica has signed a partnership with Nokia to explore how LTE and 5G can deliver new types of services.
Forthcoming trials will explore how the Spain-based operator can use its existing network infrastructure to deliver new Internet of Things services, for example.
The two companies will also use licensed and unlicensed spectrum and Massive MIMO to increase capacity in densely populated city centres, as well as suburban and rural areas where LTE coverage is sparse, in a bid to meet growing demand from customers.
Separate trials will involve Nokia's Multi-Access Edge Computing solution to deliver low latency services.
Both companies will also explore network slicing on Telefónica's UNICA platform to deliver services to new and existing customers using network functions virtualisation and software defined networking.
Enrique Blanco, Systems and Network Global Director at Telefónica said: "As demand rises, we want to deliver the greatest possible network experience even as we expand our offering to both existing and new customers. Working with Nokia we will explore the potential of key technologies that allow us to do this in the most effective way on the path to 5G."
However, the firm said Telefónica, and other operators, needed to undergo substantive "organisational, cultural and process transformations" to fully take advantage of the technology's potential.