OnePlus might be working on a 5G-ready OnePlus phone as we speak. Pete Lau, Founder and CEO of OnePlus, announced that the company could launch a 5G-ready OnePlus device as early as next year. Lau made these comments during his keynote address at MWC Shangai's Global Device Summit. Lau, however, did not confirm that the phone getting 5G support will be the OnePlus 7 or OnePlus 7T.
OnePlus usually announced two flagship phones each year and this year's OnePlus 6 will also likely be succeded by the OnePlus 6T. If this launch pattern remains the same, the OnePlus 7 series of phones might indeed bring 5G support, in light of Lau's statement.
5G is the next big leap in communication technology and its development is happening at a rapid pace right now. Ericsson believes that 20 per cent of all data traffic in 2023 will be on 5G. Indian telecom operators, including Airtel, are already planning to deploy new mobile sites, including large-scale deployment of pre-5G Massive MIMO technology. MIMO stands for Multiple-input multiple-output and while standard MIMO tech is already being used in the 4G standard, Massive MIMO is expected to be one of they main enablers of 5G technology. Massive MIMO has the ability to serve multiple users and multiple devices, while maintaining high data speeds and a stable performance, making it ideal for 5G deployemnt.
According to Cisco, commercial 5G technology will only be rolled out by 2020 and that 5.5 billion mobile users will each consume 20GB of data per month by then. However, according to experts, 5G availability in India is still a while away, atleast until 2022. The Indian government is still to auction spectrum for 5G and telcos in the country want the auction to be postponed till 2020 to give time for the establishement of an ecosystem of supported devices.
In light of this, OnePlus launching a 5G-ready phone next year could be seen as a move too early for its time. However, if OnePlus phones do get 5G support next year, they will be future-ready and users can carry on using them for longer.
it is worth noting that OnePlus is not the only smartphonemaker looking to launch a 5G-ready device. Huawei is also reportedly planning to release its 5G ready phone, possibly the Mate 30, in 2019.