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ZTE is coming out with a gigabit phone at Mobile World Congress

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Mobile World Congress - Day 1 Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

It might not be time for proper 5G devices just yet, but ZTE is bringing us a step closer, announcing today that it will show off one of the first gigabit LTE smartphones at Mobile World Congress this month. Called — fittingly — the ZTE Gigabit Phone, the Chinese company says the device will make 360-degree VR, 4K video, and instant cloud storage possible on the move.

The first devices to be capable of supporting gigabit LTE were announced last year, when Qualcomm joined with Netgear, Ericsson, and Telstra — the largest Australian carrier — to produce a mobile hotspot that technically allowed 1 Gbps downloads via Telstra’s existing networks. Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced that its gigabit LTE-capable X16 modem would be included in its Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, an upgrade on the previous X12 modem and its 600 Mbps maximum download speed.

ZTE is saving full details of the Gigabit Phone for MWC itself, but the device looks set to become one of the first smartphones on the market to support such speeds, and a stepping stone on the way to 5G.