MegaFon and Rostelcom will create a working group to propose options for the 5G rollout

Russian telecom operator MegaFon has signed a cooperation agreement with compatriot telco Rostelecom to jointly develop a 5G network. As part of the cooperation, the two Russian telcos will develop optimal scenarios for rolling out 5G networks based on international experience and subject to the specifics of the Russian mobile communications market.

MegaFon and Rostelcom said they will evaluate the possibility to create a joint venture to construct the 5G network. MegaFon and Rostelecom also said they plan to set up a working group that will propose options for rolling out 5G networks in the 3.4-3.6 GHz and 26 GHz frequency bands.

“In the current market conditions, the most logical and cost efficient option for deployment of the new standard is cooperation between several players. I am confident that, through joint efforts, 5G can become the foundation for technological development in a number of sectors of the digital economy,” said MegaFon CEO Sergey Soldatenkov.

“We believe that the creation of a fully-fledged 5G mobile network in Russia will require market players to join efforts. Our partnership with MegaFon is designed to demonstrate the success of such an approach to rolling out 5G networks,” Rostelecom president Mikhail Oseevskiy, said.

In June last year, MegaFon demonstrated mobile internet speeds of more than 1 Gbps during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

The test had used Huawei network equipment and a prototype user device based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem. MegaFon said that the peak data download speed was 1.06 Gbps.

For the trial, MegaFon aggregated two blocks of 20 megahertz in its 2.6 GHz band with one block of 20 megahertz in the 1800 MHz band. It also used 256QAM modulation and 4×4 MIMO.

MegaFon and Huawei have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to trial next generation network services at the Fifa World Cup 2018.

MegaFon commercially launched 4G LTE services in Russia in April 2012. The telco currently offers LTE connectivity through spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands.

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