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Nokia opens 5G skills centre with UTS

The University of Technology Sydney and Nokia have partnered to open a skills accelerator training facility for 5G, Internet of Things, networking, and cybersecurity technologies.

Nokia has announced partnering with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to launch the Nokia 5G Skills Accelerator training facility.

Based at the UTS Botany Tech Lab and Ultimo Data Lounge, the Nokia 5G Skills Accelerator will see university students and staffers to work alongside Nokia employees, customers, and partners both on 5G knowledge and skills and on integrating new technologies into academic programs.

"Course focus areas will span technology domains including radio access, IP routing, optical and core networks, fixed broadband access, security, and IoT [Internet of Things] platforms," Nokia said.

"More than 1,000 industry personnel and academic students in fields such as Electrical Engineering and Electrical Engineering in Telecommunications are expected to attend."

The launch builds on Nokia's pre-existing relationship and tech lab at UTS, which saw the networking giant trial 5G with Vodafone Australia two years ago, as well as partnering with the university for research across IoT, cybersecurity, data analytics, and 5G.

"Australia will be among the world leaders in 5G adoption and can be a pacesetter in the development of new mission-critical services in areas like industrial IoT. We need to accelerate the development of the right skills and knowledge to ensure Australia can reap the full benefits," Nokia Oceania head Zoltan Losteiner said.

Nokia had last month announced securing €500 million in funding from the European Investment Bank to support its research and development of 5G technology after the company in July said it was looking to 5G growth to improve its financials after posting a first-half operating profit down 37 percent to €573 million on net sales of €10.2 billion.

During the first half of the year, Nokia spent €1.8 billion on Networks R&D, with the company expecting commercial 5G network rollouts to kick off towards the end of this year.

Over in the United States, Nokia signed a $3.5 billion deal with T-Mobile in July to build out the carrier's 5G network.

Sprint, which T-Mobile is aiming to merge with next year, has also worked with Nokia to demonstrate a 5G connection using Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (Massive MIMO) technology across 2.5GHz spectrum.

The merger would mean a faster deployment of 5G across the US, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told ZDNet.

"The combination of T-Mobile and Sprint can put 5G really on the map in the US marketplace way faster that either company could do on their own, or AT&T and Verizon could do on their own quite frankly," Ray told ZDNet during Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) last month.

With Sprint choosing its 5G markets of Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Phoenix, and Kansas City while T-Mobile targets Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and Dallas, Ray said the carrier will soon announce more of its 30 5G deployment cities.

Verizon -- which launched a residential 5G service this month across parts of Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston, and Indianapolis -- is likewise working with Nokia, last month announcing a 5G trial in Washington DC after transmitting a mobile signal to a test van utilising Verizon's millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum and 5G network core, along with Nokia's 5G radio equipment.

The announcement followed Verizon and Nokia transmitting a 5G signal between two radio sectors to a moving vehicle in August, calling the successful trial a "major 5G milestone". Verizon and Nokia had in February also announced making the first over-the-air call on 5G using mmWave spectrum, Nokia equipment, and a prototype device from Qualcomm.

Nokia revealed last month that it will be using Intel technology in its first series of 5G deployments globally.

Nokia VP of Networks Marketing and Communications Phil Twist told ZDNet that there have been three main areas of collaboration between Intel and Nokia: Its AirFrame, AirScale, and ReefShark products.

Intel also enabled Nokia to undertake trials with customers by opening up its 5G Mobile Trial Platform, Twist said.

"5G is not just a radio," Twist said.

"It also needs the back end behind it, it needs this distributed core architecture, it needs the programmable transport, it needs the intelligent network fabric, it needs security, it needs the management and network orchestration, and actually it becomes so complicated that you do have AI-enabled management and controllable system to keep it working."

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