Intel kicks off separate 5G innovation projects with Ericsson and Nokia

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Intel has simultaneously co-launched two separate initiatives – one with Ericsson, the other with Nokia – to spearhead wider collaboration on 5G innovation.

On Tuesday, Ericsson and Intel announced the launch the 5G Innovators Initiative (5GI2), billed as an open industry initiative “designed to create transformative experiences that change lives, businesses and society”.

The 5GI2 aims to bring together major equipment makers, tech companies, and universities to explore, test and innovate with 5G network and distributed edge technologies to accelerate the adoption of 5G wireless and infrastructure innovation.

The 5GI2’s initial focus will be on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). The plan is to develop pilot projects to apply augmented and virtual reality technologies to first responder drone surveillance of hazardous environments, among other things.

From the press release:

The pilots will include step-by-step blueprints of the network, cloud and 5G connectivity requirements – from speed and responsiveness to security and analytics. As other participants join, the pilots are expected to expand to other industries where 5G will enable societal improvements, such as autonomous driving, smart and connected cities, healthcare and media. The pilots will also facilitate accessibility and transparency of results, encouraging progress in support of 5G industry standards and validation of new business models.

“5G is not simply about making smart phones faster. It’s about the machines and things that will deliver an entirely new smart and connected future,” said Asha Keddy, VP and GM of Next Generation Standards at Intel Communications and Devices Group, in a statement. “Building our 5G future requires a new approach to industry collaboration and development. The 5GI2 initiative combines technological strengths and intellectual capital from each of the participants to build step-by-step blueprints for how early applications of 5G connectivity, IoT and cloud services will bring new forms of value to multiple industries.”

Honeywell, GE and the University of California-Berkeley are the first participants to join the initiative.

Ericsson chief strategy and technology officer Ulf Ewaldsson said the program is “totally in line with Ericsson’s already established 5G programs, such as 5G for Sweden and 5G for Europe.”

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Nokia and Intel announced that they will open two 5G solutions labs in the US and Finland to test and accelerate commercial readiness of 5G technologies ranging from the network and cloud to the client.

Nokia says both labs will align with 3GPP standards development and work closely with 5G ecosystem companies to support comprehensive integration and testing, help telcos figure out deployment options and identify operational models to make 5G a commercial reality.

The labs will initially focus on LTE, 4.5G and what Nokia bills as 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies for radio access (including massive MIMO), mobile transport and cloud. Intel says it supporting the lab tests with its 5G Mobile Trial Platform, as well as its research on mmWave, NB-IoT, massive MIMO, small cells, network slicing, software-defined virtual RAN, multi-access edge computing and cloud.

“Nokia and Intel have a long history of creating essential development environments for new technologies,” said Frank Weyerich, head of Mobile Networks Products at Nokia, in a statement. “5G has the potential to create an unprecedented breadth of commercial opportunities for new and even as-yet unidentified players, and our joint 5G Solutions Lab will provide them with an invaluable resource to develop and incubate new possibilities.”

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