HTC has just announced a 5G partnership with China Mobile at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018, citing a drive shared between the two companies to power the future of VR adoption by consumers on a mass scale while also accelerating a rapid increase of working 5G infrastructure within China, as well as production and use of 5G-capable devices in the country. China Mobile and HTC both want to see more people in China have access to VR technology which is reportedly part of the reason why HTC was selected by the carrier to become a partner for the program, officially referred to as the "5G Devices Forerunner Initiative."
For HTC, it has stated that a main goal of the partnership will be to increase daily 5G use and speed up the rate at which people become familiar with and pick up VR and AR hardware technology. HTC's partnership with China Mobile will be a stepping stone to reaching this goal, and will also include plans to increase the sales of HTC's products in China.
China Mobile is shooting for a wide commercialization of its 5G network by 2020, and on the road toward that rollout the partnership will see it and HTC use the 5G Devices Forerunner Initiative to launch a trial application showcase that will revolve around different scenarios in which 5G devices could be used. It will also use the showcase to highlight 5G product configuration, technical solutions, and product R&D. To do this, HTC will work with China Mobile to push out an early, pre-commercial set of 5G devices, and although there is no number listed for how many of these devices will be part of the program, HTC says that trial application showcase will be large-scale and that these devices will be the first batch, which suggests that it may be looking to test additional batches of devices further down the line. In addition to the announcement about the new China Mobile partnership, HTC also reiterated that the Vive Focus will soon be hitting the global market, though it did not mention when exactly. That said consumers who are currently outside of China, where the Vive Focus is available, will have even more to look forward to as HTC will be including more phone integration features for the headset, such as streaming phone content from "hundreds of modern Android phones" to the Vive Focus display, and an upcoming voice assistance feature aimed at making control of content within the headset more intuitive.