Other areas covered by the agreement include smart cities, network transformation and cloud services
French telecom group Orange and Japanese company NTT signed a strategic research and development framework agreement which will last until 2022.
The main goal of the agreement is to share research findings in several key areas including 5G, network transformation, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, cybersecurity, cloud services, smart cities, sports, tourism and culture.
Both companies said that increasing cooperation on R&D topics will accelerate digital and network transformation.
“As Europe embarks on its own 5G journey, our collaboration with NTT will be very precious,” said Stéphane Richard, chairman & CEO of Orange Group. “Both parties share a commitment to continuous learning and cultural exchange, which I fundamentally believe is essential in today’s global environment.
“The mutualisation of our respective research learnings will enable us to identify and develop better services for customers in our respective regions, and support the development of our multinational business customers internationally,” Richard added. “Orange is one of the most innovative and important players to cooperate closely in various ways to progress AI, IoT and 5G. With this agreement, we will be able to enhance our capabilities and accelerate digital transformation in various industries, cities, sports and international events in worldwide.”
The agreement, which the operators said might be extended to other areas at a later date, covers cooperation in several areas:
-5G and network technology and transformation: 5G, LoRa, software defined networking, network function virtualization, software asset management, identity and access management, and open ecosystems (such as Open NFV, OpenStack, Open Radio Access Network, Open Air Interface and others) by using open and white box technologies.
-IoT: Focusing on a “connected value chain” with devices including connected vehicles, cellular drones and smart city automation.
-Artificial intelligence: Use cases for telco AI.
-Cybersecurity for telco, cloud, disaster prevention and integration services.
-Supporting global and cultural events and tourism by using immersive communication technology.
-Digital lifestyle innovation, covering healthcare, education, connected devices, augmented and virtual reality payments and/or finance, carrier billing and consumer experience.
In December, Orange said it aims to launch 5G technology in 17 major European cities across Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and Spain during 2019. The telco said that these initial launches will pave the way for the company’s full-scale commercial launch of this technology, which is scheduled to take place during 2020.
Richard previously said customers in those cities would be able to experience 5G services in 2019. The executive highlighted that initial services will mainly target enterprise customers. Richard also said that Orange will organize a forum with industrial partners and startups next year analyze potential 5G use cases for businesses.
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