Vodafone 5G goes live in Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds and expands in Greater Manchester as UK mobile operator races to catch up with rival EE
- Vodafone says it now has 5G available in over 100 locations around the world
- They have rolled out 5G to the Republic of Ireland including Dublin and Cork
- Vodafone says it does not charge customers extra to access its 5G network
- The company has also rolled out multi-operator base stations for the first time
Vodafone has rolled out its next-generation mobile network in more UK locations including Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds.
The company has also expanded its 5G offering in Greater Manchester, switching on the first fifth-generation masts in Cheadle, Rochdale and Stockport.
This brings the global telecom giant’s total number of 5G locations to 100 around the world, including five sites in the Republic of Ireland.
Vodafone says it is also now the first UK company to offer multi-operator technology that will allow providers to share the same mobile base station.
The company says this will help to ‘reduce energy and the number of masts needed’.
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The company has also expanded its 5G offering in Greater Manchester, rolling out the first fifth generation masts to Cheadle, Rochdale and Stockport
In December EE switched on 5G in nine new locations across the UK, bringing its next-generation mobile service to a total of 50 towns and cities.
Vodafone is now available in 34 locations across the UK, second to EE and ahead of both O2 and Three.
Vodafone launched its 5G service in July 2019 and is now available in more than 30 UK towns and cities, focusing on areas with high data use.
The company says they focused on expanded to more areas in Greater Manchester to help underline their commitment to the ‘key regional powerhouse’.
‘Salford, is also the location of Vodafone’s first digital test bed and is now being used by more than 100 application developers and start-ups’, a spokesman said.
Rival telecom company O2 expanded its 5G network at the start of the year, rolling out to 13 new cities bringing their next generation network up to 20 places.
Three, meanwhile, announced last month that it is delaying the rollout of its 5G service for an undisclosed amount of time.
The company, which launched off the back of the 3G rollout, is only offering 5G as a home broadband service across parts of London.
Vodafone said it was important for them to expand 5G to Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds as they are ‘thriving technology cities’.
Mobile data use in each of those locations has grown by more than 90 per cent in the past two years, according to the mobile giant.
‘The arrival of 5G meets future demand and means more customers can experience WiFi like speeds on the move’, the company said.
5G is expected to be up to 1,000 times faster than the currently used network standard, 4G.
According to Which?, time taken to download an HD film could be only 0.6 seconds on a 5G network, compared with 60 seconds on 4G.
Vodafone has expanded its next generation mobile network to more locations in the UK including Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds
However, according to a uSwitch survey, many phone users are reluctant to upgrade to 5G, with only 19 per cent believing it will improve connectivity.
Vodafone have also rolled out 5G to the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Cork
‘We now offer 5G in double the number of places than our nearest rival and we have significantly boosted the capacity of our network’, said Vodafone UK Chief Executive Officer Nick Jeffery.
‘It is ready for the arrival in 2020 of some great new 5G handsets and the next big software release bringing ultra-low latency. Together, these will push 5G to the next level.’
WHAT IS 5G AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
The evolution of the G system started in 1980 with the invention of the mobile phone which allowed for analogue data to be transmitted via phone calls.
Digital came into play in 1991 with 2G and SMS and MMS capabilities were launched.
Since then, the capabilities and carrying capacity for the mobile network has increased massively.
More data can be transferred from one point to another via the mobile network quicker than ever.
5G is expected to be 100 times faster than the currently used 4G.
Whilst the jump from 3G to 4G was most beneficial for mobile browsing and working, the step to 5G will be so fast they become almost real-time.
That means mobile operations will be just as fast as office-based internet connections.
Potential uses for 5g include:
- Simultaneous translation of several languages in a party conference call
- Self-driving cars can stream movies, music and navigation information from the cloud
- A full length 8GB film can be downloaded in six seconds.
5G is expected to be so quick and efficient it is possible it could start the end of wired connections.
By the end of 2020, industry estimates claim 50 billion devices will be connected to 5G.
The evolution of from 1G to 5G. The predicted speed of 5G is more than 1Gbps – 1,000 times greater than the existing speed of 4G and could be implemented in laptops of the future
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