Qualcomm announced it has been working with Russian wireless players to support testing and deployment of a 5G millimeter wave network in Moscow slated for this fall.
High-band mmWave 5G, capable of supporting massive capacity, super-fast speeds and low latency, has sparked much interest in the United States (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have each used mmWave in initial 5G launch cities). Other areas of the globe though, have focused early 5G attention more closely on sub-6 GHz spectrum bands, and Qualcomm said the 5G mmWave network in Moscow will be Europe’s first.
The Moscow City Government, in particular the Department for Information Technologies of Moscow, is involved in the work with Qualcomm, along with Russian mobile operators, and equipment and software vendors. The network will use band n257, which encompasses the 28 GHz band.
The plan is to deploy 5G pilot zones in Moscow across all telecom operators come fall, with the aim of creating more high-paying jobs and attracting further investment in the city, according to Eduard Lysenko, head of the IT department of Moscow.
In June, Russian operator MTS signed a deal with Huawei to develop a 5G network in the country over the next year, with plans for a pilot launch in the 2019-2020 timeframe.
Moscow hopes the new project will spur a variety of new 5G-enabled digital services, including virtual and augmented reality applications, which Qualcomm said are poised to become key element’s the of city’s digital space.
It will also enable testing and commercialization of other new applications such as enhanced fixed broadband and mobile wireless access for private users, and next-generation business solutions.
Qualcomm Europe’s VP of business development Yulia Klebanova said in a statement that the company is working with manufacturers to bring 5G mmWave technology to devices including smartphones and fixed wireless access points, to help the city achieve its 5G ambitions.
The 5G mmWave network project in Moscow comes ahead of wider launches planned for next year. An October study from GSMA forecast 5G networks in Russia would cover more than 80% of the country’s population by 2025.
“Over the next few years, Moscow plans to equip business centers, stadiums, main streets, congress halls, railway stations and airports with high-capacity ultra-fast, low-latency mobile communications to bring a whole new level of services to individuals and businesses in the capital,” Klebanova said.
Ericsson in May opened a 5G testing lab and training center at the vendor’s head office in Moscow’s Metroplis Business Center, providing a space to experiment with 5G and IoT applications.
According to Ericsson, the facility allows Russian operators to trial 5G and IoT technologies and standards that have been adapted to Russian standards.