MOBILE OPERATOR Vodafone is feeling pretty pleased with itself after switching on the 'first' trial of 'full 5G' in the UK.
The trial, which is taking place in Salford, Greater Manchester, makes use of the recently released 3.4GHz spectrum and Massive MIMO technology and is connected to Vodafone's nationwide converged fibre network, enabling the company to test 5G technology end-to-end using wireless routers.
Vodafone boasts that its trial, which will provide 5G coverage to MediaCityUK and the surrounding area, is a 'UK first' as other trials, still use elements of 4G infrastructure to reach users.
Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery, said: "We are leading the rollout 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."
In a bid to give 5G a thorough testing, Vodafone is inviting local businesses and digital startups to join the trial through its ‘Future Ready' innovation centre, which is opening in spring 2019.
The centre will come equipped with5G wireless routers, gigabit-capable optical-fibre links and Internet of Things (IoT) services, which can digitally connect "everything from office security systems, vehicles, and household appliances to livestock and pets."
While Vodafone is the first network to launch a 'full 5G' trial, EE, which has already claimed to have seen 5G speeds of 2.8Gbps in its behind-closed-doors tests, recently switched on its trial 5G mobile technology at Canary Wharf in London. µ
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