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Author Topic: Vodafone Switches On First UK Full 5G Trial via Commercial Network  (Read 250 times)


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Vodafone today claims to have become the “first to switch on” a full 5G service over a commercial network in Salford, Greater Manchester. This will be followed by roll-outs in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London by December 2018. Cornwall, the Lake District and Scottish Highlands will follow.

By comparison other trials have so far only been tested within a single location or by using parts of the existing 4G network, although in fairness the use of the word “full” should still be taken with a pinch of salt because truly final hardware (particularly on the consumer side) is not yet ready. This remains a trial, not a true commercial deployment.

The Salford trial, which provides coverage to MediaCityUK and the surrounding area, is connected to Vodafone’s nationwide “converged fibre network” and is being tested end-to-end using wireless routers (akin to a fixed wireless broadband ISP). The trial will also make use of the recently released 3.4GHz spectrum band and could offer Gigabit speeds to specific premises, as well as low latency (1-5ms is the desire).

A more traditional 5G trial for the mobile environment (Smartphones etc.) will follow later, once the necessary consumer kit has started to become available later next year. The full scale commercial roll-out will then begin in 2020, after Ofcom has auctioned and released the initial batch of 5G friendly bands.

    Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO, said:

    “We are leading the roll out of 5G across the UK, starting with Greater Manchester. A further six cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London – will shortly receive full 5G too. Next year, we will bring 5G to the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall and the Lake District, among other locations.

    We have worked closely with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to help ensure the city is not only an economic powerhouse, but also a digital powerhouse. That is why we are making a multi-million pound investment to offer world-class communications to Greater Manchester’s thriving media and tech community, consumers and our own 1,000 or so employees who work there.”
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