Vodafone 5G lifts off at Manchester Airport in public trial

Vodafone has launched a 5G service at Manchester airport in a public trial demonstrating the latest generation network's advantages.

Users connect to a portable 5G router Vodafone calls a ‘Gigacube’ located in Manchester’s terminal one. Gigacube makes use of Massive MIMO to enable multiple transmit and receive signals.

Brad Miller, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Airport, said:

“We are delighted to support Vodafone’s 5G trial at Manchester Airport. As we progress with the design and delivery of our £1bn transformation programme, we are constantly exploring how new innovations and technology can be applied to improve the airport experience.

As a business with a strong presence in our surrounding community, Vodafone was a natural partner for a trial project like this and we look forward to collaborating with them again in the future.”

Based in a ‘5G Blast Pod’, the use of WiFi to connect to the router allows users to gain some idea of 5G’s benefits using existing devices.

Visitors were provided with a free Entertainment Pass on streaming service NOW TV. Users could download an episode of the recent series of ‘Tin Star’ in 45 seconds and the whole series in six minutes and seven seconds. These speeds were up to four times faster than over 4G, which took 26 minutes and eight seconds.

Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, commented:

“We all love to catch up on our favourite TV shows, play games or finish off some work when travelling.

5G, with its fast speeds and quick response times, will make that quick and easy, even in busy locations.”

We’re all expecting the 5G device floodgates to open during MWC next week. More devices should begin entering consumers’ hands, though it will likely be some time before they saturate the market.

Demonstrations like Vodafone’s should help to drive adoption of 5G smartphones and networks as they become available.

Vodafone plans on expanding to other major airports and train station across the UK. The expansion will continue in the next few weeks with Snow Hill railway station in Birmingham one named target.

The full rollout is expected to complete in around a year.

(Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash)

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