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ZTE set to reveal new gigabit LTE phone as stepping stone to 5G

ZTE apparently has a treat up its sleeve for MWC 2017 as it looks all set to reveal a gigabit LTE smartphone. Can 5G speeds be far behind?

In a big step towards 5G connectivity becoming a reality, ZTE has accouned it will use MWC 2017 to launch a gigabit LTE phone, which will be able to better cope with things like 360-degree virtual reality, 4K video and instant cloud storage on the move.

For those of you wondering what indeed gigabit LTE actually is, it’s a wireless technology that is able to support speeds of up to 1Gbps, which are far faster than anything 4G LTE offers.

Related: MWC 2017

The Chinese company will give full details on the speedy new smartphone at this month’s MWC 2017 show in Barcelona, joining a very exclusive club of devices capable of supporting gigabit LTE speeds.

Qualcomm is another firm at the forefront of bringing gigabit LTE to the masses and is the only company that has so far released a product that harnesses its power, a mobile hotspot that it developed in conjunction with Netgear, Ericsson and Telstra.

Unsurprisingly, the ZTE gigabit phone is being tipped to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, as it includes an X16 modem capable of supporting gigabit LTE speeds.

By way of comparison, Qualcomm’s older X12 modem could only support maximum download speeds of 600Mbps, as opposed to the 1Gbps maximum offered by the X16.

But while plenty of people are quick to point out that the first gigabit LTE devices will serve as a precursor to 5G rollout, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the next-gen network technology until roughly 2020.

That said, 5G is set to feature heavily at MWC 2017, so we’re sure to leave this year’s show with a better idea of what’s coming, and when.

Watch: The best smartphones right now

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Which MWC 2017 release are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

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