Kit vendor Nokia looks to expand its brain trust with a new research facility looking at 5G and 6G.

Nokia’s shiny new R&D centre at its Portuguese campus in Amadora has been set up in order to ‘develop technology to power 5G communications and lay the foundations for 6G networks,’ and will apparently create 100 new jobs within the next two years.

The new influx of boffins will be tasked with overseeing ‘the full cycle of embedded and real-time software development from early analysis to final delivery.’ Nokia is looking to staff the place with new software engineers, product owners and technical leads to work alongside its existing workforce.

Last year Nokia signed a deal with the Portuguese government to open a Global Business Services Centre and’ participate in initiatives that promote digital skills’.

“The new research and development centre in Portugal demonstrates Nokia’s continued investment in the future of wireless communications,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Nokia Mobile Networks. “The centre’s vital work will continue to expand the possibilities of mobile networks, critical for seamlessly connecting people, businesses, and industries. Importantly, this will be a hub for innovation, reinforcing our 5G technology leadership and helping to realize our ambition to become a 6G pioneer.”

Sérgio Catalão, Country Manager of Nokia Portugal added: “The announcement made today is a testament to the continued solid operation of Nokia in the country, reinforced once again by a collaboration with the Portuguese Government. This project reinforces our commitment to supporting Portugal’s digital transformation with our market-leading technology by working in close cooperation with academia, as well as bolstering our team with the best talent.”

There are by now quite a few of these 5G research labs set up by the two big kit vendors as well as operators and all sorts of telecoms adjacent firms. Presumably part of what they are trying to achieve is to discover and then capitalise on some sort of wonder-app or genuinely game changing 5G use case that will turn everyone’s heads.

Since such a thing remains to be seen, certainly on the consumer side, it might get harder and harder to keep up the ‘5G will change the world’ marketing vibe – which might explain why a lot of them now seem to be rolling in some 6G research to the new facilities as well, as Ericsson announced it was doing with its new facility in the UK last week.

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