A year after Vodafone switched on 5G in seven cities across the UK, and has since added 5G to 37 more places in the UK, the company has become the first UK operator to showcase a ‘Standalone’ 5G network.
The new network has been built for Coventry University, where it will be used to trial state-of-the-art VR/AR tech, whilst supporting training for student nurses and allied health professionals.
“This is a landmark in our 5G journey – just one year on from launch,” said Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer, Scott Petty. “5G today is all about capacity and increased speeds. It’s giving people the best mobile experience ever, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg of what 5G can do. With this new live network we’re demonstrating the future potential of 5G and how it will be so valuable to the UK economy.
“This new phase of 5G starts to deliver on the incredible capabilities of 5G that have had so much attention, but haven’t yet been brought to life. From here, we will really start to see 5G make a difference to the way organisations think about being connected, and what’s possible with connectivity in the future.”
Vodafone has also installed Ericsson’s 5G Radio Dot System in the university’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab and National Transport Design Centre. The 5G indoors technology will deliver fast, high-capacity networking across key buildings and facilities on the campus.
“We are delighted to be working with Vodafone to house the UK’s first standalone 5G network. This will help us continue to change and enhance the way students learn,” said Professor John Latham CBE, Coventry University Vice-Chancellor. “Being the first university in the UK to have this next phase of 5G technology is the first step on our journey to creating a 5G campus, and we will soon be able to reveal how we will use this technology to maximise the potential of virtual reality teaching for our Health and Life Sciences students.”
Vodafone has teamed up with Ericsson, MediaTek, OPPO and Qualcomm to make the new network reality, and it will support network slicing, edge computing, and industry-level support for IoT in manufacturing and industry.
Covid-19 Recovery Commission
And the announcement of the new standalone 5G network comes on the same day that Vodafone UK has announced that its CEO, Nick Jeffery, has joined the Covid-19 Recovery Commission as an inaugural member, to represent the telecoms and technology sectors.
“The seismic events of recent months impact us all, but together we can rebuild our local communities,” said Nick Jeffery. “By working together – public and private sector – we can ensure the UK emerges from this crisis as one of the most innovative and dynamic economies in the world.”
The Commission has been backed by the UK government, and will be chaired by John Allan, with the remit to evaluate social mobility, opportunities and life chances, and how productivity and investment has changed, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information on Vodafone 5G visit www.vodafone.co.uk/5G