Mobile network operator (MNO) Vodafone UK has announced that live mobile data traffic is now being streamed ‘exclusively over 5G’ from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester, which it notes is connected to its nationwide converged fibre network. Claiming a first for the country, the cellco noted that up until now providers in the UK have tested 5G technology either within a single location or using parts of the 4G network to complete the 5G service. Providing coverage to MediaCityUK and the surrounding area, Vodafone UK said the Salford site marks ‘an important step in connecting businesses and consumers with 5G technology’, adding that it will enable it to test the technology end-to-end using wireless routers and forms part of its 5G trial in seven cities this year. Meanwhile, the MNO said its network engineers are already achieving high speed Internet connectivity and low latency from the Salford site using active antenna (Massive MIMO) technology, which effectively provides multiple-data ‘channels’ from a single antenna, coupled with its 3.4GHz 5G spectrum, secured at auction earlier this year.
Commenting on the development, Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery, said: ‘We are leading the roll out of 5G across the UK, starting with Greater Manchester. A further six cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London – will shortly receive full 5G too. Next year, we will bring 5G to the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall and the Lake District, among other locations.’