LIVE FROM HUAWEI GLOBAL MOBILE BROADBAND FORUM 2014, SHANGHAI: Huawei and Russian operator MegaFon signed an MoU this morning focused on the development of 5G technology, with plans to deploy trial networks in time for coverage at the 2018 World Cup.
The 5G-focused Memorandum of Understanding builds on a lengthy partnership between the two companies – going all the way back to a GSM network deployment in 2002.
Today’s MoU covers a number of key areas: Huawei will hold regular meetings with MegaFon to share progress on the standardisation of the technology, and both companies will work together to determine the requirements of 5G network construction.
The highest profile part of the deal involves the creation of a team to conduct 5G trials and provide 5G coverage for MegaFon at the World Cup, which, according to a statement, will see Huawei introduce “the latest mobile technologies such as SCMA, full duplex, and cloud base station into the 5G network, as well as providing testing 5G terminals in trial zones.”
A 5G test area will be set up, with the pilot projects targeted for completion by end June, 2017. It is hoped that this work will then lead to the 5G network becoming available for guests and participants of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
This news is likely to ramp up activity in the 5G deployment stakes; Japanese operator NTT Docomo has previously announced its intention to have 5G services up and running in time for the 2020 Olympic Games.
“With the help of MegaFon, we are confident of turning science-fiction-like service into 5G reality for citizens in Russia and soccer fans around the world, two years ahead of the industry’s estimated 5G introduction date of 2020,” stated Ryan Ding, president of Huawei products and solutions.
Of course, 5G technology is yet to be officially standardised, but is expected to be so before Huawei’s 2018 Russian plans.