13 April 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Vodafone UK says it has completed the first test of new 5G spectrum across an existing live network.
The company, which won the spectrum in the UK’s
latest auction, said it was the first time that the 3.4GHz
band has been used in the UK.
Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said: "Today’s
test is just the beginning. We are now preparing our network
for 5G while continuing to increase the capacity and extend the
reach of our existing 4G network."
To carry out the 5G spectrum test, Vodafone used a site at its
Manchester contact centre, which houses around 1,000 customer
service employees, and its offices in Newbury. The test relied
on a technology known as Active Antennae or Massive MIMO,
combined with 3.4 GHz spectrum running over the core 4G
A key building block for 5G, the system has multiple antennae
to send and receive data more efficiently, boosting capacity
where lots of people are connecting to the network at the same
Jeffery said: "5G will improve the quality of our lives and
transform how we work. This next generation technology will
enable medical services that could save lives, from remote
surgery to remote care for the elderly. It will enhance
industrial applications, from automated systems to robotics,
helping manufacturers across the UK boost their