British mobile network operator (MNO) Vodafone UK has named another twelve cities where it intends to launch 5G connectivity later this year, namely: Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton. These locations will be added to the list of seven cities where the operator has already switched on pre-commercial infrastructure, or where it soon switching on, as part of a UK-wide trial which got underway last year.
Meanwhile, with Vodafone claiming to have become the first UK company to carry 5G traffic over a commercial mobile network in October 2018 in Manchester, it now notes that sites in Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool have been lit and are ‘streaming live 5G mobile data traffic to and from the internet, using the latest compatible routers’. Looking ahead, engineers have reportedly installed 5G antennas and associated equipment in Birmingham, Glasgow and London, ahead of going live.
In addition to live field trials, Vodafone has said it is also ‘rigorously testing’ the performance of 5G smartphones, processors and routers at its headquarters ‘using the latest industry standards which were approved in December 2018’. Further, the operator has claimed that its investment in the latest Active Antenna (Massive MIMO) technology means that many of its existing 4G sites are also now 5G ready.