• A photo of ZTE Corp's stand at the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.

A photo of ZTE Corp's stand at the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo : Getty Images)

ZTE, a Chinese telecom giant, launched what it claims as the wold's first smartphone that is compatible with the lightning-fast 5G mobile Internet service. China's 5G technology is expected to be up and running by 2020.

The company stated that the "Gigabit phone" is the first 5g smartphone that is capable of reaching up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) of download speed. This is 10 times faster compared to the first generation of 4G services that are widely used today.

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The device is unveiled in Barcelona, northeast Spain, on the night of the start of the 2017 Mobile World Congress. This phone will enable users to experience fast downloads of ultra high fidelity music and videos, as well as support for seamless 360-degree panoramic virtual reality videos.

"With the new device, the way people stay connected will be changed forever. Focusing on 5G technologies will be one of the key priorities of ZTE´s global development," said a spokesman of the company.

Technology firms are currently racing when it comes to developing 5G-compatible products. 5G is short for fifth-generation of networks, with specifications that promise blazing fast connectivity for streaming movies and TV directly to phones.

The first large-scale commercial deployment of 5G is expected by 2020.

KT Corp., a carrier that is based in South Korea, aims to offer 5G trial services during the 2018 Winter Olympics that will be held in Pyeongchang.

Thomas Hussan, an analyst from Forrester research, said: "ZTE was using the phone to "showcase innovation" and "offer a glimpse into the future when people will be able to download full movies in seconds" but it was not likely to be a big seller.

He added: "The sad reality is that this smartphone will not end up in consumers´ pockets because both 5G and Virtual Reality are still years away to be a mass-market consumer reality."