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Chinese vendor Huawei and Telefonica have formally announced a world first in vehicle communications at their 5G joint innovation lab in Madrid.

The telecommunication companies confirmed that they achieved a significant milestone by producing the very first proof-of-concept (PoC) testbed for 5G-based vehicle communication networks known throughout the industry as (5G-V2X).

5G-V2X has been identified and globally recognized as one first and fundamentally important vertical industry that will enable 5G innovations. The testing process for 5G-V2X technology is based on the latest 3GPP New Radio (NR) standard specifications which were standardized and made available in December 2017.

It has been disclosed that some of the most advanced 5G-V2X services available include vehicles platooning, extended sensors - advanced driving capabilities and remote driving. However, it has been highlighted that in order to enable the capability of self-driving, the technology will require further enhancements of the 5G NR system.

The issue of safety over self-driving technology and the adoption of autonomous driving remains a concern for the industry and what approach it takes to implement mass adoption. However, due to the stringent requirements imposed by high reliability and fast reactions that characterize autonomous driving, the so-called ultra-reliable and low-latency communication (URLLC) mode for 5G NR offers the flexible design to support services with low latency and high reliability requirements.

Industry analysts have said that establishing the proof-of-concept test conducted by Huawei and Telefonica will lay the foundations for large-scale field trials in the future, which will also coincide with the forthcoming commercial deployments of 5G wireless networks worldwide.

Telefonica Global CTIO, Enrique Blanco says the collaboration between his firm and Huawei represents another important step on the path towards the commercialization of the next-generation technology, which has been tipped to have the potential to revolutionize the way in which we live, work and play.

He said, “This Proof-of-Concept between Telefonica and Huawei is another step towards 5G commercialization and a fully connected society. We will continue to strengthen our collaboration by verifying 5G key technologies. Multiple novel use cases will be developed and provided to our customers.”