Verizon Wireless joined NTT DoCoMo of Japan and South Korean wireless network operators KT and SK Telecom in establishing a new global initiative, known as the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance, which aims to develop a common platform for 5G wireless technology trials throughout the world. 

Announced yesterday at the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the alliance hopes to promote an “inclusive, open and collaborative approach” to 5G trials, which are expected to take place during the next two years.  (Analysts anticipate, meanwhile, that wireless broadband services and devices based on 5G technology will be introduced commercially by 2020.)  The alliance partners stated that their activities “will focus on 5G radio interface” trials that will “provide the wireless industry with the ability to test and validate key technical components.”  Additional carriers and partners from the wireless device, chipset, network infrastructure and equipment vending sectors are expected to join the group.  A spokesman for the alliance also affirmed that 5G trial specifications covering multiple frequency bands above and below 6 GHz will be neutral and will not limit ongoing industry discussions on 5G standardization.