Russia’s leading telecommunications operator and digital service provider Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Sweden’s Ericsson, a global leader in communications technology, have announced an agreement to launch the first 5G network segments in Russia, the Russian company said in a press release on February 26.
At the Mobile World Congress 2019, the two companies signed the agreement on the 5G Russia roadmap for 2019-2022.
The roadmap outlines the steps to develop and deploy the first segments of 5G networks within pilot zones and commercial clusters in the first year. The roadmap further describes the planned process of the current LTE networks’ evolution to high-speed LTE Advanced Pro Gigabit LTE networks, as well as strategies for further development and launching of innovative commercial solutions and products based on 5G technologies, MTS said.
Alexey Kornya, MTS president and CEO, commented: “Back in December 2015, we signed a cooperation agreement with Ericsson on 5G technology. We hit all the targets envisaged under that agreement. Together, we have successfully tested advanced 5G-technologies and solutions on the MTS network with excellent results. Today, we are entering a new phase of our collaboration as we move towards the next generation standard. We are ready to launch the first 5G pilot zones on the MTS commercial network, combining our achievements and insights with exciting new technologies. We hope that our continued cooperation with leading vendors in conjunction with the earliest possible availability of the required frequencies to Russian telecom operators will accelerate the deployment of 5G networks across the whole country, and prove to be an impetus for further innovation.”
Arun Bansal, president and head of Europe & Latin America, Ericsson, added: “MTS and Ericsson continue to demonstrate industry leadership through ongoing innovation and collaboration. We continue to work closely with MTS to expand our strategic partnership and support MTS in successfully deploying 5G. This year we will deploy commercial Gigabit LTE networks based on LTE Advanced Pro standard, Massive MIMO and LAA with peak data rates close to 1 Gb/sec. Our joint efforts will make MTS subscribers among the first in Russia to benefit from 5G services.”
The companies outlined their plans. The first 5G stations will be rolled out in 2019 and a pre-commercial pilot phase with a 1Gb/s data transfer rate will be launched. At the same time the companies will introduce Internet of Things (IoT) capacity for use in industry, agriculture, city infrastructure and utilities.
The following year the companies will roll out 5G networks in Russia’s regions. In 2021-2022 the networks will be extended to private networks for smart manufacturing and support for virtual reality applications for commercial use. At the same time the first test zones for “driverless” vehicles will be introduced.