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Press Release | 31 May 2016

MOBILE NETWORK IN A BRIEFCASE COMES TO LONDON JOINT INNOVATION BY VODAFONE AND ERICSSON

MOBILE NETWORK IN A BRIEFCASE COMES TO LONDON JOINT INNOVATION BY VODAFONE AND ERICSSON

The days of large cranes blocking roads to install mobile network cell sites could be over thanks to a successful deployment by Vodafone UK and Ericsson of a new ‘mini base-station’, housed in small, briefcase-sized radio units.

  • Vodafone UK and Ericsson introduce new mini base-station radio units, called Ericsson Radio System, to boost signal and help unblock roads
  • New trials with three-way Carrier Aggregation boost 4G to allow more users to experience ultra-fast speeds

The days of large cranes blocking roads to install mobile network cell sites could be over thanks to a successful deployment  by Vodafone UK and Ericsson of a new ‘mini base-station’, housed in small, briefcase-sized radio units.

The award-winning radio units also come packed with the latest 4G mobile technology to give a greater number of customers a faster and more reliable mobile connection. Half the size and weight of a standard radio unit* offering three times the capacity, the units not only help meet increasing data demands, but make it easier to deploy on rooftops in urban areas – and they are more energy efficient. Engineers can simply carry the equipment up the stairs to a rooftop and install the unit without the need of a costly and disruptive crane, speeding up the process of extending our 4G network.

Vodafone and Ericsson have installed the first mini base station in Southwark, London, and will be rolling out the new system across the capital and in other urban areas.

Vodafone has a long track record in network innovation and design. Through the Vodafone Foundation, Vodafone’s philanthropic arm, it developed the Instant Network, a portable mobile network that has been deployed in countries across the world following natural disasters, including Kenya and the Philippines.

With mobile data usage growing at an incredible rate, Vodafone is also exploring the deployment of antennas and small cells to ensure long-term capacity requirements are met for customers and visitors. It is also calling for 30-year old planning laws to be updated and for less obstruction to gaining access to key sites in order to ensure the UK has a world-leading digital infrastructure for years to come.

The two organisations are also working on faster versions of Carrier Aggregation, which allows Vodafone to combine its range of spectrum bands to provide higher average speeds to more simultaneous users and meet future capacity demands. Following recent trials of three-way Carrier Aggregation on sites in London, which combine Vodafone’s 800MHz, 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz spectrum, download speeds were achieved of up to 240 Mbps.  The trial sites are now ready to deliver download speeds of up to 700 Mbps to meet future mobile data growth.

Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Jorge Fernandes said: “We continue to look at new and innovative ways of providing improved mobile coverage in order to meet our customers’ soaring demand for mobile data and video while minimising disruption to the general public and improving the aesthetics of the surrounding area.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Ericsson, one of our key network suppliers, on this project and look forward to further engaging with local councils and Government to look at ways of reducing red tape around site planning for mobile mast installations.”

In addition to being less obtrusive, the base stations can also support the latest mobile technology such as 4G+, which is also referred to as Carrier Aggregation. Under its 4G+ roll-out, Vodafone is combining up to three mobile spectrum bands to provide customers in high density areas with faster data speeds and improved voice quality both outdoors and indoors.

For further information:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: 01635 693 693

Ericsson Corporate Communications

Phone: +46 10 719 69 92

E-mail: media.relations@ericsson.com

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