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Vodafone Names 19 UK Cities for Commercial 5G Mobile Rollout

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 (12:19 pm) - Score 3,391
vodafone mast and engineer

Multi-Gigabit speed Mobile Broadband has taken another step forward today after Vodafone announced a list of 19 UK cities and towns that will be the first to benefit from their commercial roll-out of 5G mobile technology in 2019, which is being fuelled by a 10Gbps capable fibre optic (backhaul) network.

At present the operator has already announced several of today’s locations as part of their on-going pre-commercial 5G trials (here), which began last year and are currently taking place in parts of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London via the 3.4GHz spectrum band. Some parts of Cornwall, the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands are also included in that.

So far the trials have been focused on testing 5G based Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) style connections to connect premises or WiFi distribution points. Some of these have been seen to deliver speeds around 1Gbps, as well as low latency (1-5ms is the network side desire – excluding latency added by home networks and internet servers). But these will soon expand to include mobile (Smartphone) tests, once the hardware becomes available.

The good news is that Vodafone has now gone one step further and revealed a full list of the 19 UK cities and towns where they will start deploying 5G from later in 2019 (see below).

Scott Petty, Vodafone UK CTO, 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.”

We should point out that the areas listed below won’t immediately achieved 100% coverage when the new service goes live. Instead most of the operator’s tests are currently limited to very specific locations in each city/town and these will only start to be expanded more widely once the real roll-out starts later this year.

Most operators will only achieve very limited 5G coverage this year and that’s partly because they are awaiting the forthcoming auction and release of additional 5G spectrum bands by Ofcom (here), which will take place later this year and into early 2020 (e.g. 700MHz and spectrum in 3.8-4.2GHz etc.).

Vodafone’s Initial UK 5G Rollout Plan

Trials Live
Salford (Greater Manchester)
Bristol
Cardiff
Liverpool

Pre-Live Deployment Phase (Trials)
Birmingham
Glasgow
London

New Cities and Towns
Birkenhead
Blackpool
Bournemouth
Guildford
Portsmouth
Plymouth
Reading
Southampton
Stoke-on-Trent
Warrington
Wolverhampton
Newbury

In addition to the 12 new cities announced today, Vodafone said their investment in the latest Active Antenna (Massive MIMO) technology means many existing 4G sites are now also considered “5G ready“. This technology effectively provides multiple-data ‘channels’ from a single antenna, coupled with their 3.4GHz 5G spectrum. Vodafone secured the largest block of this 5G spectrum at last year’s auction.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar steve

    YAY! Plymouth makes it on to a list for upgrade!

  2. Avatar GucciGang

    Vodafone now offering a £20/month unlimited text and call with 100gb data which drops to £13/month after cash back. Nice to see 4G drop drastically in the anticipation for 5G plans

  3. Avatar dave

    Start the 700MHZ auction already, i want 5G with this frequency so that coverage improves and better indoor coverage.

  4. Avatar 5G Infinity

    early 2020 (e.g. 700MHz and spectrum in 3.8-4.2GHz etc.

    Think this is 3.6-3.8GHz, the 3.8-4.2GHz band is under consultation for a shared release for fixed wireless only services – eg 5G FWA.

  5. Avatar SuperFast Dream

    I passed a Mobile mast earlier in east Belfast (I believe it to be a Vodafone one) and on the cabinet at the base it stated ‘5G Will Kill’ in fluorescent spray paint. The vandal clearly has a crystal ball seeing as Belfast don’t appear to even be on the Vodafone 5G trial list, yet…..

  6. Avatar Annabel Waterfield

    No insurance company will insure against injuries caused by 5G. Lloyds of London stopped giving telephone companies public liability insurance for injuries caused by radiation in 1999. 180 distinguished scientists worldwide have written to the World Health Organisation asking that the roll out be halted pending further research. 5G is dangerous.

    • Avatar Shell

      You’re very well informed! Most people haven’t a clue about the dangerous frequencies we will be having to cope with…. telecom companies don’t care… it’s all about the money! When they start seeing every living thing start to die, only then will people wake up! But the insects will be all be dead, then the birds… this really is mass murder!

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