Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Vodafone rolls out 5G test in Barcelona city center

In preparation for next week's Mobile World Congress, Vodafone has rolled out a 5G network in the city centre of Barcelona. The network will be used to demonstrate peak downlink speeds of 1.5Gbps.

Vodafone confirmed that it is on track to launch 5G in a number of European cities during the second half of 2019. The carrier has already completed trials over a four-week period with three 5G smartphones that will be launched in 2019. Both the smartphones and Vodafone’s 5G network were fully compliant with the latest version of the industry standard for Non-Standalone 5G - 3GPP’s ‘Release 15’, which was only approved in December 2018.

Other notes

  • Vodafone has invested €90 million in Milan to build the first 5G network in Italy, covering over 80% of the city. It has launched 31 5G use cases to date working with 38 industrial and public sector partners. The use cases cover the fields of health and wellbeing; security and surveillance; smart energy and smart cities; mobility and transport; manufacturing and industry 4.0; education; entertainment; and the digital divide. The use cases include a 5G Connected Ambulance developed with San Raffaele hospital; Europe’s first live 5G news broadcast with Sky; and a self-driving robotic vehicle delivering books at the Polytechnic University of Milan campus. Vodafone has also allocated €10 million over four years for the ‘Action for 5G’ competition for start-ups, SMEs and social businesses.
  • Vodafone UK is trialling 5G in seven cities and successfully completed the country’s first holographic call in September 2018 when England and Manchester City Women’s Captain, Steph Houghton MBE who broadcast from Manchester to Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire in order to give footballing tips to 11-year-old Manchester City and Lionesses fan, Iris.
  • Vodafone Germany won the international Paul Pietsch Award in 2019 for its work in making the 5G standard fit for connected and autonomous driving in future utilising its 5G Mobility Lab and auto test track near Dusseldorf. It is now working with German broadcaster WDR to test the distribution of TV and Video on Demand content over 5G.
  • Vodafone Spain, which completed the world’s first 5G call at Mobile World Congress in 2018, has 5G cell sites across six cities. The company is also supporting the development of 5G connected surgery in Spain working with L’Hospital Clinic in Barcelona to enable a specialist surgeon to guide an operation by another surgeon without being physically present.