Vodafone to trial 5G in seven UK cities
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
James Hope, Vodafone UK’s head of networks for the North, with a new 5G base station in Manchester

Vodafone has announced that it will test 5G at specific sites in seven UK cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester, with roll-outs starting between October and December this year.

Vodafone’s engineers are currently laying the groundwork for groundwork for 5G at more than 40 sites in these cities. The company has already deployed 5G radio equipment operating at 3.4 GHz at one of its major UK customer contact centres in Wythenshawe, Manchester.

Discussions with a number of enterprise customers are also underway, with a view to testing new 5G applications such as augmented and virtual reality in offices, factories and hospitals.

The company claims that these tests areas together amount to the most comprehensive 5G trial in the UK to date and that they will ensure that Vodafone will be ready for the commercial launch of (3GPP Release 15) 5G, which it expects to arrive in early 2020 with a wide choice of compatible phones and devices.

Vodafone recently won the largest block of 5G spectrum in an auction and claims to have conducted the first UK test of this spectrum across a live network between Manchester and Newbury.

Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery said: “We want to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and business throughout the UK, delivering a Gigabit society for all. We will also be bringing ultra-fast 4G to several hundred sites in hard to reach rural areas this year, building on our position as the network that offers the best voice coverage in the UK.”

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