Over the past week, we celebrated multiple 5G “firsts” in Russia, including the first test of a preproduction Samsung 5G smartphone in the country, as well as launching the first continuously operable mid-band 5G pilot zones in Moscow and St. Petersburg. While the zones also have ultra-high-speed millimeter-wave frequencies, they notably feature connectivity in the sub-6GHz spectrum, which is well suited for wider-area coverage and is expected to be the backbone of 5G networks worldwide.
“Not long ago we were testing 5G equipment the size of a closet, and today, together with our partners, we showcased a 5G smartphone operating under typical user conditions that externally is indistinguishable from a regular 4G device,” commented Inessa Galaktionova, MTS First Vice President for Telecommunications. “The first 5G smartphones and routers will go on sale in MTS stores in late 2019 or early 2020, providing our customers the ability to realize the benefits of this next-generation standard by using the high-speed mobile connectivity and digital services provided by MTS’s 5G pilot networks.”
In addition, together with Huawei we launched Russia’s first large-scale urban 5G coverage on St. Petersburg’s island of Kronstadt, as well as a 5G cell in Moscow near the Smart City pavilion in one of the city’s most historic parks, VDNKh. In the early stages, the networks will be used for testing and to connect certain public facilities to the Internet, with plans for broader rollout to subscribers in the future. Coverage includes both 4.9GHz mid-band and 28GHz millimeter-wave frequencies.
We continue to move fast and take concrete steps in advancing 5G. Looking ahead, we plan to open a 5G Lab at the Moscow pilot zone that will provide a platform for startups to develop new products and solutions based on fifth-generation connectivity. Potential 5G applications include smart city solutions in transportation, as well as new use cases in IoT, cloud computing, telemedicine, autonomous vehicles, and virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).
Overall, these achievements represent a major step forward toward the commercial rollout of 5G in Russia, further demonstrating MTS’s technology leadership in bringing the latest innovations to our customers.
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