Huawei on Monday announced it is working with 16 European partners to develop 5G infrastructure and services across multiple countries as part of the 5G Exchange (5GEx) project, an initiative of the European Commission’s 5G Public Private Partnership (5G-PPP).
According to Huawei, the project partners include network operators, vendors, SMEs and academic institutions, all of which are working in concert to establish a “pan-European testbed for evaluating relevant technologies.” In particular, Huawei said its European Research Center will “contribute to the 5GEx architecture’s design and development of the 5GEx multi-domain orchestrator prototype.” The company said the overall goal of the project will be to reduce the time to market for new 5G services.
Huawei said the 5GEX project will also allow European researchers and industry partners to test 5G services on a “real world, cross-domain, cross-country platform.”
Since September, Huawei has been participating in research at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Center and said it is also collaborating on a 5G Vertical Industry Accelerator (5G VIA) and testbed in Europe.
The 5GEx project was launched at the start of October, Huawei said, and is one of the first initiatives undertaken by the 5G-PPP, which was launched by the European Commission in December 2013 to bring together industry manufacturers, operators, service providers and researchers to deliver 5G standards and solutions. Huawei said the 5G-PPP is expected to attract nearly 3.5 billion Euros in private investments.
The EU’s 5G efforts come amid increased global competition between countries and carriers to be the first to roll out the new technology.
In September of this year, the EU announced it signed a partnership agreement with China to strengthen cooperation on 5G technology. Also in September, Verizon announced that it is currently building 5G “sandbox” test environments in Massachusetts and California and expects to begin conducting 5G field trials next year. In mid-September, Nokia set a 2020 deadline for the first commercial 5G rollout in Europe. Other companies, including Huawei, KT Telecom and NTT Docomo, have also announced 5G launch dates of 2018 (Huawei and KT) and 2020 (NTT Docomo).