Huawei is planning to deliver ‘science fiction-like’ 5G mobile services at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Chinese mobile giant Huawei is teaming up with Russian network MegaFon for a series of trials that, it’s hoped, will see incredibly fast, low-latency services enjoyed by attendees, pundits and football fans.
Speaking at the 2014 Global MBB Forum in Shanghai, Huawei announced that it expects 5G will eventually deliver download speeds of 10Gbps to individual users.
Ryan Ding, President of Huawei Products and Solutions, said: “The communication boundaries between humans and machines shall be broken by 5G. Huawei has made great progress in the development of 5G. The 2018 FIFA World Cup provides a unique platform in wireless history to demonstrate Huawei’s leadership in 5G development.”
“With support of MegaFon, we are confident of turning a 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.”
MegaFon, Russia’s second largest mobile network, has previously worked with Huawei on trials of up to 300Mbps LTE-Advanced 4G. Trials will take place in July 2017, with a view to a 5G service being up and running in time for the World Cup to kick off.
If the trials are successful, there should be more than enough bandwidth for visitors to stream games in Full HD and 4K Ultra HD and for attendees to upload pictures and video and post messages on social media.
In the UK, Huawei has paired up with EE to trial next-gen 4G services which could see download speeds of up to 400Mbps delivered to sports fans at Wembley Stadium.
Huawei is one of the many companies funding 5G research and development in the UK, recently investing £5 billion in the UK’s 5GIC centre in the University of Surrey.
Fellow 5GIC partner Samsung recently posted the results of a 5G trial, which saw 1Gbps speeds transmitted to a test unit in a moving car.
It’s not clear what part of the radio spectrum Huawei and MegaFon will be using in its trials. Samsung has been able to deliver gigabit mobile broadband using the 28GHz radio frequency band but in the UK, Ofcom has announced that the 700MHz band will now be cleared to make way for future mobile services.
Ofcom now expects that 5G will be ready to roll out by 2020 at the earliest, despite initially gunning for a 2018 spectrum auction.