Verizon and 5 other carriers form 5G Future Forum

Six carriers have come together to create the 5G Future Forum with the aim of developing interoperable 5G specifications across the globe. The founding carriers are América Móvil, KT, Rogers, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone.

The 5G Future Forum will focus on the creation of uniform interoperability specifications, which will help developers create 5G and mobile-edge computing applications. The group will also share global best practices in technology deployment, and they say they will develop public and private marketplaces. 

Six carriers represent only a small percentage of global mobile operators, so the group will have to entice many of its peers to truly impact global 5G interoperability specs. The founding members do represent most of the major geographies of the world, with the notable exception of China. The big three Chinese mobile operators are making strides in 5G, but they’re becoming increasingly isolated due to the Trump administration’s war on Huawei and also the perception that the U.S. and China are engaged in a “race to 5G.”

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It’s not clear how the 5G Future Forum’s work on interoperability specifications will be distinguished from the 3GPP’s work on 5G standards. But the group is not elaborating on that at this point.

“It’s critical that technology partners around the world unite to create the most seamless global experience for our customers,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon, in a prepared statement. “We are proud to join with our fellow 5G leaders to unlock the full potential of applications and solutions that will transform with 5G’s fast speeds, high reliability, improved security and single-digit latency.”

“This forum of global leaders in 5G marks an important step in ensuring edge computing works seamlessly for our customers,” said Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business. “These new specifications will allow us to offer services that work consistently across the globe and support devices moving between countries.”