June 6 (UPI) -- Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has signed a deal with Russian Internet and mobile provider MTS to develop 5G networks in Russia, the companies announced Thursday.
The two companies plan to establish the 5G network by 2020 on MTS' existing infrastructure. The deal also will launch test zones and pilot networks in Russia.
"Today, with the signing of the 5G development agreement, our partnership is reaching a new level -- we not only give impetus to the strategic cooperation of the two high-tech companies, creating the basis for the commercial use of 5G networks in Russia in the very near future, but also contribute to the further development of trade and economic relations between Russia and China, MTS President Alexis Kornya said.
The agreement comes amid difficulties for Huawei, which President Donald Trump banned from U.S. networks in May. The United States put the company on a trade blacklist after finding it conducted business contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy.
The U.S. Commerce Department said Huawei violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and conspired to violate that act by providing prohibited financial services to Iran, which is under U.S. sanctions, while also obstructing justice in connection with an investigation of those sanction violations.
Huawei has denied close links with Beijing.
"Huawei has vast experience in the development of fifth-generation networks, leading the race towards this technology," Huawei board Chairman Guo Ping said. "The company has received more than 16,000 patents in the field of 5G, which puts Huawei in the first place in the world in this indicator. We hope that our joint efforts with MTS will bring closer the 5G-era in Russia."
U.S. mobile network Verizon became the world's first carrier to launch a 5G wireless network in April. The company established the network in Chicago and Minneapolis and said it expects to expand to more cities before the end of 2019.