Vodafone is to launch seven 5G test-cities across the UK, with rollouts starting in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a senior company source.
Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester will all be transformed into 5G test cities, as Vodafone looks to make use of its sizable acquisition of spectrum at the UK’s recent 5G auction.
Speaking at the Connected Britain event in London on Wednesday, Vishal Dixit, chief strategy officer at Vodafone said that the 5G test cities would provide the perfect opportunity for Vodafone to prepare for commercial rollout of 5G.
“We are allocating real dedicated support to our gigabit UK test and trial cities, where we are already working on a large number of sites there to enable us to work with selected enterprise customers and potential partners to see how we can prepare for full commercial rollout. Planning and coordinating is not such a straight forward thing – you’ve got to get the sites ready, the masts ready, make sure your radio antennas are tuned properly. It’s these type of areas that we are going to start playing around with the equipment and really invest some time and focus for 5G,” he said.
Vodafone is already involved in a key partnership with CityFibre that will bring gigabit capable, full fibre broadband to 1 million customers in 12 cities across the UK.
“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,” said Nick Jeffery, chief executive of Vodafone UK. – Total Telecom