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Press Release | 20 Jun 2018

Vodafone advances Gigabit UK with 5G trial in seven cities

Vodafone advances Gigabit UK with 5G trial in seven cities

Vodafone UK today unveiled seven cities that will become 5G test areas, with roll-outs starting between October and December this year.

Photograph of James Hope, Vodafone UK’s Head of Networks for the North, with a new 5G base station in Manchester in the background. Manchester is one of seven UK cities set to have a 5G trial on the Vodafone network from this autumn.
James Hope, Vodafone UK’s Head of Networks for the North, pictured with a new 5G base station in Manchester in the background.
  • Customers in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester set to try out 5G

Vodafone UK today unveiled seven cities that will become 5G trial areas, with roll-outs starting between October and December this year.

They form part of our major investment in building a world-class network infrastructure to support Gigabit UK, a nation where people will enjoy ultra-fast connection speeds of one gigabit per second on the move, at home or at work.

Our 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.

We are able to commit to conducting the most comprehensive 5G trial announced to date after winning the largest block of 5G spectrum in the recent auction and having conducted the first UK test of this spectrum across a live network a week later.  The upcoming trials will ensure that we are ready for the commercial launch of full 5G, which is expected to arrive early in 2020 to coincide with a wide choice of compatible phones and devices.

Our 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. We have 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 our nationwide, all optical fibre core network called 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.”

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About Vodafone UK

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that 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).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of October 2020, we have 5G in 57 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In September 2020, leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, named Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. 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.

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