Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and Russian mobile carrier Megafon are teaming up to kick off the world’s first 5G mobile network, slated for debut at the 2018 World Cup.
Such a timeline predates widespread industry estimates that 5G wouldn’t arrive until 2020, according to Huawei Products president Ryan Ding.
“We are confident of turning science-fiction-like service into a 5G reality for citizens in Russia and soccer fans around the world, two years ahead of the industry’s estimated 5G introduction date,” Ding said in a statement.
In an announcement yesterday, Huawei and Megafon said that they were beginning collaborative trials in the run-up to the World Cup, which will be held in 11 Russian cities in July 2018.
The rollout of hurtling 5G speeds -- amid an ever-crowding mobile landscape and a burgeoning Internet of Things -- has been hotly anticipated by tech companies and consumers alike.
Previously, South Korea's Ministry of Science and Technology announced plans to spend about $1.5 billion to build a national 5G wireless network to be commercially available by 2020. Such a framework would reportedly provide speeds 1,000 times faster than most 4G LTE networks, by which users would be able to download a full-length, 800-megabyte film in just one second.