Russian cellco MTS and Ericsson have signed a roadmap on the future of 5G in Russia for the period 2019-2022, describing the development and deployment of the first segments of 5G networks in pilot zones and commercial clusters in 2019. For this year it maps out the deployment of the first pre-commercial 5G NR pilot and the launch of the first 5G Fixed Wireless Access pilot in the country. The new agreement also covers the evolution of current 4G networks to high speed Gigabit LTE networks, as well as further development and launch of commercial solutions and products based on 5G technologies. The two companies previously signed a 5G cooperation agreement in December 2015 and say they have ‘hit all targets’. They also agreed in 2018 to establish a 5G research centre.
MTS earlier announced successful tests on its commercial LTE mobile network in the Republic of Bashkortostan, achieving data transfer rates of up to 996Mbps by combining all its available frequency bands and applying technologies that will be used in upcoming fifth-generation networks. Downlink tests were conducted in central Ufa on street base stations (based on the Ericsson Radio System) using a Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem test smartphone and aggregation of four bands (60MHz) including two in the FDD 1800MHz range (20MHz and 10MHz), 10MHz in the FDD 2600MHz band and 20MHz of TDD 2600MHz spectrum. MTS’s release added that to increase the data transfer speed and network capacity, 5G-suitable technologies were used, including multi-antenna modes (MIMO 4×4) and high order signal modulation (256 QAM).