Vodafone unveils 'next phase' of 5G

Vodafone 5G
(Image credit: Vodafone)

Vodafone has taken the wraps off its next generation 5G networks in what it says is a major step forward for the company.

The operator revealed the so-called 'next phase' of its 5G technology, which it says can provide faster and more reliable connections for users across the UK.

The new network, built for Coventry University, uses what Vodafone calls 'standalone' 5G technology, marking the first time that connections are entirely from the next-generation networks, rather than the current mix of 4G and 5G connections.

Vodafone 5G

Vodafone says standalone 5G will allow operators to add more capacity to a network, providing faster speeds and a more reliable connection. It will also facilitate effective network slicing, which allows operators to offer customers dedicated portions of their network for guaranteed performance levels.

This could be vital to supporting growing industries in the field of edge computing, helping power systems such as smart cities and the Internet of Things.

The Coventry University network, built alongside Ericsson, MediaTek, Oppo and Qualcomm, will be used to trial state-of-the-art virtual reality learning technologies to support training for student nurses and allied health professionals.

The launch comes a year on from the initial launch of Vodafone 5G, with the company now offering high-speed connections in 44 locations across the UK, as well as roaming networks across Ireland, Italy, Germany and Spain.

“This is a landmark in our 5G journey, just one year on from launch. 5G today is all about capacity and increased speeds," said Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty.

"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.” 

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.