Oppo has quietly revealed that it will release a dual-mode 5G smartphone before the end of 2019. Henry Tang, Chief 5G Scientist at the company announced the move on stage at the Qualcomm 5G Summit in Barcelona last week.

Dual-mode 5G will allow the upcoming phone to operate in both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes. SA uses 5G for everything without needing to fall back on a 4G LTE network, whereas NSA needs 4G LTE for some aspects of operation.

Which version you would need depends on your region and operator, so Oppo believes by releasing a dual-mode 5G device it can better serve more countries as 5G is in its infancy.

Tang said, “The unrelenting efforts from OPPO and other industry peers have paved the way for the rapid adoption of 5G, with users in select countries and regions already becoming early adopters of OPPO’s 5G smartphones. We hope our next-generation dual-mode 5G offerings will deliver a superior experience to more consumers in more markets globally, making 5G readily available to a wider consumer base worldwide.”

Oppo announcing a dual-mode phone is really just another step on the ladder as 5G begins its long road to full maturity. The reality is most consumers shouldn’t invest in a high-price 5G contract currently as there is not enough 5G coverage to justify it. That will likely be the case until 2021.

Oppo already has a 5G phone for sale in the form of the Oppo Reno 5G which is NSA as most areas in the world with 5G cannot rely on it for everything given the sparse availability. Most commercial 5G phones only take advantage of the connection for mobile internet.

At present, the only dual-mode handset available globally is the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G