Vodafone and Ericsson claim successful standalone 5G test

Vodafone and Ericsson have teamed up with King’s College London to perform what they claim is the first successful 5G test in the UK which works independently of any 4G technology.

Making use of a prototype device in a central London 3.5 GHz spectrum field trial, as well as other technologies including Massive MIMO, the trio claim to have demonstrated the value of 5G, without making use of any 4G technologies.

“We’re delighted to be the first provider to test standalone 5G in the field, however, building a 5G network will take time,” said Vodafone UK Head of Networks Kye Prigg. “Right now, we’re also modernising our network by making smarter use of our existing mobile technology to keep ahead of consumption demands and provide the mobile coverage our customers deserve.”

“Supporting our customers in making 5G a reality is key for us,” said Marielle Lindgren, Head of Ericsson in the UK and Ireland. “This is a live trial in a densely populated central London urban area and the first time in the UK that we’ve been able to show pre-standard 5G working independently. We remain committed to advancing 5G development in the UK, working closely with leading operators and ecosystem players to enable global scale and drive the industry in one common direction.”

The project is also testing out Vodafone capabilities when it comes to aggregating different bands of mobile spectrum. By combining four bands, the trio claim latest smartphones can achieve data speeds in excess of 500 Mbps.

The next step for Vodafone will be on the fibre side of things. Working alongside CityFibre, work will soon begin laying the advanced fibre networks needed to provide high-capacity backhaul connections for 5G mobile services.

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