Huawei and Russian operator MegaFon signed an MoU yesterday 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. The 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.
Huawei announced today that it has signed an agreement with Russian mobile operator MegaFon to develop and deploy 5G trial networks in time for the 2018 World Cup. The deal between the Chinese telecom company and the Russian mobile service focuses on standardizing 5G technology, determining the requirements to build a 5G network and creating a team to conduct trials and provide coverage at the 2018 tournament in Russia. Pilot projects should be completed by the end of June 2017. Ryan Ding, president of Huawei products and solutions, said, “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.” This is another indicator of how serious Huawei is about 5G, after having pledged £5m to a 5G research center in the UK, where 5G is expected around 2022. Plus, a recent report predicts that by 2020, 90% of the world’s population above six years of age will have a mobile device, and it’s understandable that Huawei wants to be front and center deploying the necessary technology to make those numbers a reality.