Oppo wants to release the first 5G smartphone

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Oppo is aiming to be the first smartphone manufacturer to launch a commercial 5G handset after achieving a significant milestone in its lab tests of next-generation mobile networks.

The Chinese phone maker was able to connect one of its devices to a 5G network for the first time, overcoming one of the final hurdles in development and paving the way for a release in 2019.

“Oppo made the connection successfully between an R15 smartphone terminal and the 5G network, in [its] 5G communication protocol laboratory environment,” the company said in a statement.

(Image: © Oppo)

Oppo 5G smartphone

“The connection was carried out on a pre-commercially available 5G smartphone developed on the basis of Oppo [Release-15]. It was customized with fully integrated 5G components including Systemboard, RF, RFFE and antenna. The "5G" logo also appeared in the top right corner of the screen.”

It is keen to stress its contributions to the 5G standard and its R&D efforts, with its Oppo Research Institute exploring 5G applications in the fields of 3D vision, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented (AR) reality. It believes these three technologies will combine to create a ‘Ubiquitous Reality’ that will be used for 3D video calls and online gaming among other use cases.

On top of this, the firm is working with chip maker Qualcomm on a ‘5G Pilot’ programme to jointly investigate 5G innovations.

Oppo will have stiff competition to be first to market from LG, which has previously stated it plans to launch a compatible device with US operator Sprint. Oppo is one of the world’s leading device manufacturers, but its success has so far been limited to its homeland and emerging markets like India.

The first 5G network has already gone live in the US, offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband in major cities, with others set to come online in 2019.