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Press Release | 07 Mar 2019

Vodafone to launch 5G in 19 cities during 2019

Vodafone to launch 5G in 19 cities during 2019

Trial sites go live today in Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool

Vodafone will launch 5G in 19 towns and cities across the UK during 2019.

Today we are revealing that customers in 12 more cities will benefit from faster mobile data speeds and an ultra-responsive network when 5G goes live later this year. These additional locations join the seven cities that are already live or switching on soon under our UK-wide trial, which started last year.

Vodafone became the first UK company to carry 5G traffic over a commercial mobile network in October 2018 from a location in Salford, Greater Manchester.  Now sites in Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool have been switched on and are streaming live 5G mobile data traffic to and from the Internet, using the latest compatible routers.

Meanwhile our engineers have installed 5G antennas and associated equipment in Birmingham, Glasgow and London ahead of going live. All our mobile sites are connected to Vodafone RedStream, our nationwide optical fibre network, with connections giving speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second to ensure customers wishing to stream video without buffering can do so even in built-up areas at busy times of the day.

Alongside the seven cities already announced, we will be launching 5G in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton this year.  And of course, we will also be launching 5G in Newbury, the original home of Vodafone and the location of our technology headquarters.

In addition to live field trials, Vodafone is also rigorously testing the performance of 5G smartphones, processors and routers in our Newbury technology headquarters using the latest industry standards which were approved in December 2018. This means customers can be assured that the service will work seamlessly when launched later in 2019.

5G promises device speeds around 10 times faster than 4G, meaning high quality 4K video calls and downloads will be delivered even quicker to smartphones and tablets. Data transfer of less than 20 milliseconds will be standard, which is great news for mobile users like gamers, who up until now have had to rely on home broadband when playing online. 5G will also deliver response times of less than five milliseconds into smart factories, connecting robots and mobile machines, connecting British business like never before.

Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer Executive Scott Petty said: “Our multi-billion-pound network investment and leading position in setting global standards will ensure our customers have the very latest 5G releases and technology. 5G will also usher in a new era where everyone and everything is better connected, whether you are running a hotel in Portsmouth or broadcasting live at MediaCity in Salford.”

In addition to the 12 new cities announced today, our investment in the latest Active Antenna (Massive MIMO) technology means many existing 4G sites are now 5G ready. This technology effectively provides multiple-data ‘channels’ from a single antenna, coupled with our 3.4GHz 5G spectrum.  Vodafone secured the largest block of this 5G spectrum at last year’s auction.

– ends –

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk

 

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587