Network provider, Vodafone, has become the first company in the UK to stream 5G over a commercial network. The new generation of mobile technology is being streamed to and from the internet exclusively from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester.
Until now, other providers have only tested the technology in a single location or by using parts of the 4G network to complete the 5G service.
The new site is currently providing 5G coverage to Manchester’s media hub, MediaCityUK and the surrounding area, and forms part of Vodafone’s 5G trials happening in several UK cities this year. Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London are soon to receive full 5G too. Next year will see Vodafone launch 5G in the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall and the Lake District as well.
Vodafone is also inviting local companies and organisations to register their interest in experiencing the faster data speeds of 5G at its new ‘Future Ready’ innovation centre. The centre, located in The Landing at MediaCityUK, will open in Spring 2019.
In partnership with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and MediaCityUK, the innovation centre will be equipped with digital technology including 5G wireless routers, gigabit-capable fibre links and Internet of Things services.
Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery said: “We have worked closely with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to help ensure the city is not only an economic powerhouse, but also a digital powerhouse. That is why we are making a multi-million-pound investment to offer world-class communications to Greater Manchester’s thriving media and tech community, consumers and our own 1,000 or so employees who work there.”
Vodafone will open up its innovation centre to winners of Vodafone Techstarter, an award for innovative technology with a social purpose.
Techstarter offers a £300,000 fund through a partnership with the Vodafone Foundation and Social Tech Trust, a supporter of socially-motivated tech ventures. Applications for the award have closed, with the winners being announced in February 2019.