EE and OnePlus to be the first to bring a 5G phone to Europe

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau appeared on stage during the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit to confirm that the next OnePlus flagship will be the first phone into the European market that offers 5G.

Following Tuesday’s unveiling of the new Snapdragon 855 processor at Qualcomm’s Tech Summit event in Hawaii, OnePlus’ Pete Lau made an appearance during Wednesday’s keynote to confirm that through a partnership with EE, his company would be the first to put a 5G phone in consumer’s hands.

EE is the UK’s largest carrier and has been forging a path with both its 4G and 5G technologies for some time now. During the opening day of Qualcomm’s Tech Summit, BT Group’s Fotis Karonis took to the stage to reaffirm the network’s commitment to this burgeoning mobile technology, with six major cities set to serve as the launch locations for the carrier’s 5G infrastructure, plus a further ten sites set to be going live before the end of 2019.

Related: OnePlus 7 Pro review

In a suitably complementary power move, OnePlus is looking to capitalise on the attention that 5G will no doubt garner once it starts to roll out. On stage, Lau announced that the company’s next flagship phone will be the first handset to support gigabit (and up) 5G data speeds, and through its availability on EE, will be the first phone with 5G support in Europe that consumers will actually be able to buy.

With the exception of Motorola’s US-exclusive Verizon Moto Mod, we’re yet to see 5G-ready components in a smartphone. In its own right, the Snapdragon 855 is capable of up to 2Gbps 4G LTE connectivity by way of its integrated x24 modem but it’s the addition of Qualcomm’s standalone X50 modem that will grant devices like the next OnePlus flagship true 5G support.

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