Vodafone UK has unveiled seven cities that will become 5G trial areas, with roll-outs starting between October and December this year.
They form part of a major investment in building a world-class network infrastructure to support Gigabit UK, a proposed nation where people will enjoy ultra-fast connection speeds of one gigabit per second on the move, at home or at work.
Engineers are already laying the groundwork for 5G at more than 40 sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and 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 Gigabit UK programme also involves offering customers superior fixed broadband using gigabit-capable ‘full fibre’ connections all the way to people’s homes and offices. Vodafone has named seven cities – Aberdeen, Coventry, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Stirling – to receive Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, starting towards the end of 2018.
Both 5G and Vodafone Gigafast Broadband services will be connected by Vodafone’s optical fibre core network RedStream, which currently links 1,300 broadband exchanges and nearly 1,600 other locations such as retail parks, new builds and business premises. Vodafone recently tested new ‘photonic’ technology capable of carrying information over the core network at speeds of up to 400 Gigabits per second.
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.”