Ericsson and Intel Corporation have teamed up to launch the 5G Innovators Initiative (5GI2), described as ‘an open industry initiative designed to create transformative experiences that change lives, businesses and society’.
The 5GI2 is intended to give equipment manufacturers, technology companies, industry leaders and universities to explore, test and innovate with 5G network and distributed edge technologies to accelerate the adoption of 5G wireless and infrastructure innovation in the United States. Honeywell, GE and the University of California, Berkeley are the first participants to join the initiative.
As companies vie to establish the lucrative patents which will form the backbone of 5G development, it’s likely that Ericsson and Intel would be able to take this opportunity to establish its own 5G technologies.
The 5GI2 will first focus on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), developing pilots for applications including AR and VR for drone surveillance of hazardous environments. The pilots will include blueprints of the network, cloud and 5G connectivity requirements such as speed and responsiveness to security and analytics.
It’s then planned to expand the pilots into other industries such as autonomous driving, smart and connected cities, health care and media.
Ulf Ewaldsson, chief strategy and technology officer of Ericsson, says, ‘This program is totally in line with Ericsson’s already established 5G programs, such as 5G for Sweden and 5G for Europe. This collaboration brings together necessary competence from technology providers, industry partners and academia to find sustainable solutions to digitize and transform other industries.’
Asha Keddy, vice president and general manager of Next Generation Standards, Intel Communications and Devices Group, said, ‘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. 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.’
The news comes after Nokia’s announcement that it has completed the first 5G connection in Oulu, Finland, using a data centre based on Intel architecture and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform as the end-user device. According to Nokia, the December event marked the world’s first 5G connection made based on the 5GTF interface, the industry-agreed specification for ‘pre-standard’ 5G applications. This specification comes out of the Verizon 5G Technology Forum (5GTF), formed in late 2015 to address the need for a 5G standard. Both Intel and Nokia are active forum members.