The carrier is currently testing the technology in a number of locations across the UK including Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool
Telecommunications group Vodafone announced it will launch 5G technology in 12 new cities across the United Kingdom during this year.
Vodafone said it became the first U.K. company to carry 5G traffic over a commercial mobile network in October 2018 from a location in Salford, Greater Manchester. The carrier said that 5G sites in Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool have been switched on and are streaming live 5G mobile data traffic to and from the Internet, using the latest compatible routers.
Meanwhile, the telco has installed 5G antennas and associated equipment in Birmingham, Glasgow and London ahead of going live.
Vodafone said plans for this year include the launch of 5G in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.
In addition to live field trials, Vodafone is currently testing the performance of 5G smartphones, processors and routers in its Newbury technology headquarters using the latest industry standards which were approved in December 2018.
Vodafone UK CTO Scott Petty said: “Our multi-billion-pound network investment and leading position in setting global standards will ensure our customers have the very latest 5G releases and technology. 5G will also usher in a new era where everyone and everything is better connected, whether you are running a hotel in Portsmouth or broadcasting live at MediaCity in Salford.”
The carrier also highlighted its investment in Massive MIMO technology which would allow current 4G sites to be 5G ready.
Last month, Vodafone UK said it had begun lab tests of a 5G smartphone form factor test device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem using Ericsson radio equipment at the Vodafone Technology Centre in Newbury.
Vodafone is using a smartphone form factor test device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF (radio frequency) transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements.
Vodafone aims to commercially launch 5G services in the U.K in 2020, the telco has previously said.
Last year, U.K. telcos obtained spectrum for the future provision of 5G services. Vodafone won 50 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.4GHz band after paying £378 million ($498 million). BT-owned EE won 40 megahertz for which it paid £303 million. Three secured 20 megahertz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151.3 million, while Telefónica-owned O2 picked up 40 megahertz for £318m.
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