Vodafone has announced that it plans to trial 5G in seven cities around the UK later this year as part of its Gigabit UK project; the trials will last from October and run to December. The firm will be running the experiments in the countries biggest cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, and Manchester.
In preparation for the trials, Vodafone’s engineers have already begun deploying the necessary hardware required to deliver 5G to around 40 sites in the trial cities. Vodafone is keen to find out how new 5G applications, such as virtual and augmented reality in hospitals, offices, and factories, work out.
Speaking on the trial, 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.”
The upcoming trials will allow Vodafone to see which aspects of the network are ready to go, and those which still need some work. The firm hopes that these trials will ensure that it is ready for the planned commercial launch in early 2020 - several months after EE and BT.