Win for embattled Chinese vendor as Russian operator agrees to use Huawei kit for 5G network
Huawei Technologies celebrated some rare good news after Russia’s largest mobile operator (MTS), agreed to use its equipment to develop 5G networks in that country.
The deal came during a three day visit to Russia by Chinese President Xi Jinping, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
And the good news was compounded when it emerged that China has awarded 5G licences to a number of local operators, in what could be a vital 5G boost for Huawei.
The MTS deal will not only create “the commercial use of 5G networks in Russia in the very near future, but also contribute to the further development of economic ties between Russia and China,” MTS President and CEO Alexei Kornya was quoted by CNN as saying in a statement.
“The fact that the president of Russia and [the Chinese president] … were present at the ceremony proves once again how important technology partnerships are for Russia and China,” Huawei board chairman Guo Ping said in the statement.
MTS reportedly said the deal would cover the development of 5G technologies and the launch of 5G pilot networks in Russia in 2019 and in 2020.
Meanwhile it has emerged that China has granted 5G licenses to the country’s three major telecom operators and China Broadcasting Network Corp on Thursday.
State-owned carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom , as well as state-owned broadcaster China Broadcasting Network Corporation Ltd, were the four licensees named by the Chinese government.
This means that these firms now have the official blessing to begin commercial deployment of 5G networks, ahead of the original timeline of 2020.
China Mobile, the largest Chinese telecom operator, said it planned to offer 5G services in more than 40 Chinese cities before the end of September.
Huawei reportedly said in response to the license grant that it was prepared to support China’s 5G build-out.
It said it had signed 46 5G commercial contracts in 30 countries to date, shipping more than 100,000 5G base stations.
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