Holo there! – Vodafone performs 5G holographic call
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Young football fan Iris (right) reaches out to 'touch' a holograph of Steph Houghton (left)

​Vodafone has today (20 September) conducted what it claims is the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G.

The technology was used to allow England and Manchester City women’s football captain, Steph Houghton MBE to appear as a live 3D hologram on stage at Vodafone UK’S headquarters in Newbury, while she was at the company’s Manchester office.

Her hologram gave footballing tips to11-year-old Manchester City and Lionesses fan, Iris – highlighting the potential of the technology for remote coaching and training. A YouTube video showing the call can be viewed here.

Back in June, Vodafone announced that seven cities would become Vodafone 5G trial areas and it has announced that Cornwall and the Lake District will receive 5G in 2019 and that the company will have 1,000 5G sites by 2020.

Vodafone has also announced a package of initiatives to drive innovation and growth in the UK. These include:

  • A new technology centre and digital incubator in Manchester, in collaboration with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and MediaCityUK.
  • Vodafone Techstarter, an award for innovative technology with social purpose. Techstarter offers a £300,000 fund through a partnership with the Vodafone Foundation and Social Tech Trust, a UK-based supporter of socially-motivated tech ventures.
  • Bright Sparks, a mentorship programme for digital start-ups in partnership with Oxford University Innovation.
  • Code Ready, a scheme offering frontline employees in Vodafone’s retail stores and contact centres the opportunity to learn to code and acquire the digital skills they need for the future.
  • Vodafone Digital Degree, a programme that combines a computer science degree from the University of Birmingham with a tech apprenticeship at Vodafone.
  • What the company claims is the UK’s first self-optimising tariff which automatically moves business customers to the most cost-effective tariff for them.
  • The Gigacube, a mobile Wi-Fi device delivering ‘instant, superfast connectivity’ for up to 20 users, which Vodafone has said is ideal for anyone wanting to set up a satellite office, pop-up shop or restaurant.
  • £700 million expenditure this year on Vodafone’s network in addition to the multi-billion pound investment it has made over the last few years.

Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery said: “Vodafone has a history of firsts in UK telecoms – we made the nation’s first mobile phone call, sent the first text and now we’ve conducted the UK’s first holographic call using 5G. We also lead the industry in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, with the world’s largest dedicated global IoT network.

“The initiatives we’ve launched today are designed to ensure that everyone can benefit from the digital technologies transforming how we live and work. From our customers and employees, to university students, digital entrepreneurs and businesses, we want to help people across the UK get ready for a digital future.”

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