Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecom services provider, and Telecom Egypt, Egypt's first integrated telecom operator, announced a strategic partnership, wherein, Airtel will get IRUs (Indefeasible Right of Use) on Middle East North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) and TE North Cable Systems. In addition, Airtel will also take large capacities on a long-term basis on two new state-of-the-art Cable Systems (SMW5 & AAE1). The transactions aim to be concluded after the fulfillment of all conditions precedents.

Read more: Airtel and Telecom Egypt partner on global submarine cable systems

Nokia and SK Telecom (SKT) are conducting a major trial of LTE public safety technologies in South Korea to establish the application of first responders in sharing mission-critical voice, video and other data simultaneously in real-time with multiple members of first response teams.

Read more: LTE public safety technologies trial held in South Korea

Singtel and Ericsson are strengthening their 5G Center of Excellence Program partnership with the announcement of a new initiative that will see Singapore’s first 5G pilot network go live by Q4 this year. The 5G pilot network will be deployed at one-north in Buona Vista, the country’s science, business and IT hub. Renowned for its early embracing of new technology, the move is a significant landmark towards making 5G a reality in Singapore.

Read more: The first 5G pilot network to be launched in Singapore

Construction of the Japan-Guam-Australia Cable System (JGA) has officially commenced, according to Japan’s NEC Corporation. The project is being constructed by a consortium including Google, Alcatel Submarine Networks (part of Nokia), NEC, AARNet and RTI Connectivity. The 9,500km undersea fiber optic cable system will deliver a design capacity of more than 36 terabits per second and is expected to be completed in Q4 2019.

Read more: Construction begins on the Japan-Guam-Australia subsea cable

South Korea’s KT showcased its global leadership in the field of next-generation wireless technology and services at this year’s Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018. The country’s largest operator demonstrated its 5G technology as part of its recently launched “Ni Hao 5G!” campaign, in addition to showcasing virtual reality, IoT and autonomous driving.

Read more: South Korean operator ‘Ni Hao 5G!’ campaign draws global attention

5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots have been turned on in Australia by telecom provider Telstra. The company is using the connectivity via its recently opened 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast in Queensland to power a series of Wi-Fi hotspots as well as a 5G Connected Car, said Telstra Managing Director Networks Mike Wright.

Read more: Australia gets first 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots

In an announcement made in the framework of the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018, Lan Chen, president and CEO of Docomo Beijing Labs, said that countdown to 5G launching has begun, with a plan to roll out the technology within 800 days.

Read more: Docomo to launch 5G soon

Huawei Marine announced the kick-off of Phase II of its Sorsogon-Samar Submarine Fiber Optical Interconnection Project (SSSFOIP) for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). The SSSFOIP system is located in the San Bernardino Strait, linking Sorsogon, the southernmost province on Luzon to the island of Samar.

Read more: Huawei Marine to deploy subsea cable connecting Philippine islands

Nokia and Japanese telecom company KDDI have successfully demonstrated the use of LTE in Japan to deliver cost-efficient, low-latency connectivity for vehicles. The trials were conducted by Nokia and KDDI at a rural location on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Read more: Japanese telco trials 4G LTE connected vehicle applications in Japan

Huawei announced it is the first company to complete a 5G NSA (Non-Stand Alone) functional test based on 3GPP. The NSA test took place in the third-phase of China's 5G technology tests in Beijing’s Huairou District. The test was organized by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which aims to meet the ITU’s International Mobile Telecommunication system target date of 2020.

Read more: Huawei takes leading role in China’s third phase 5G tests

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