Press Release | 11 Apr 2019

Vodafone switches on 5G technology in Newbury

Vodafone switches on 5G technology in Newbury

Vodafone has switched on live 5G testing in Newbury as part of its UK-wide trial of the new, high-speed mobile service. Using technology called Active Antenna (Massive MiMo)*, 5G mobile data traffic has started streaming across our network from a site near our Newbury campus.

5G will play a large part in the future of business and the public sector. Due to its fast response time, 5G is ideal for connecting machinery, healthcare systems, and even traffic lights and car parks to improve congestion in towns and cities. 3D holographic calls – a technology we have already successfully tested in Newbury – are also possible with 5G.

When compatible 5G handsets and devices arrive later in the year, customers will be able to load a web page within the blink of an eye and stream a movie over 5G without buffering. 5G will also ensure faster data speeds for customers in congested areas such as city and town centres, train stations and event venues.

As well as investment in our network in the town, our Newbury campus is also currently being transformed into our main UK technology centre. A multi-million pound budget will create the network control centre of the future, making Newbury our main research and development facility.

Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said: “Newbury is the home of Vodafone and where many of our UK firsts have taken place, including the first ever mobile voice call in 1985, first text message in 1992 and the first 5G holographic call last year. It’s only right it should be one of the first places in the UK to receive 5G. With our new technology centre, we will ensure that Newbury continues to be the birthplace of our future technologies.”

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:


Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

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

Registered in England No: 1471587