OnePlus has announced that its upcoming 5G phone will be sold in Finland beginning in the second quarter of 2019 in partnership with Elisa, the country’s top mobile service provider. According to OnePlus, Elisa will be one of the first operators in the world to launch a commercial 5G network. The two companies have worked together for years, and according to a press statement, Elisa was actually the first network operator that OnePlus ever partnered with. The companies further say that OnePlus phones have been Elisa’s best-selling models for the past 26 months.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei first talked about an upcoming 5G device at MWC Shanghai in June last year, and confirmed its strategy at the Qualcomm 4G/5G summit in October. At that time, OnePlus said the device would launch in the first half of 2019. Over the past few months, more information has trickled out, including the fact that this will be a standalone model and not the expected OnePlus 7, which will soon replace the OnePlus 6T. The company has also stated that the cost of a 5G phone would be $200-300 higher than that of its current models.
Most recently, OnePlus has stated that it will be demonstrating a prototype 5G device in partnership with Qualcomm at MWC 2019, scheduled to be held in Barcelona next week. While touting the speed and latency benefits of 5G networks, OnePlus also hinted that gaming would be a key demonstration. Qualcomm will be showing off its own 5G modems and cellular equipment at the upcoming trade show with a live 5G network.
OnePlus had previously announced a partnership with EE to launch the unnamed 5G OnePlus phone in the UK this year, stating that it will be the first 5G phone to go on sale there. The company is also actively engaged in developing more partnerships around the world. There’s no word yet on when or if such a device might come to India, but carriers here have not announced concrete 5G rollout plans so it doesn’t look likely to happen in the near future.