News

UK’s first 5G train station connected as Vodafone live tests 5G in Birmingham

April 4, 2019
  • Birmingham New Street becomes UK’s first train station to trial 5G
  • Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands is the first to test the new, super-fast network
  • Commuters and travellers invited to test 5G speeds as part of live trial
  • Vodafone support will help drive West Midlands Combined Authority’s digital communications strategy
  • Vodafone is first operator to bring 5G to Birmingham

Vodafone is the first company to live test 5G in Birmingham as part of its UK-wide trial, with Birmingham New Street becoming the first train station to test the new, faster mobile technology.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, tested the region’s new technology on the New Street concourse. Passengers at the station were also invited to test 5G speeds using a 5G router.

When compatible 5G handsets and devices arrive later this year, commuters in busy locations will be able to load a web page or a video instantly. Thanks to super low latency, they will be able to stream a movie or download a work file over 5G seamlessly without buffering or lag. Vodafone is rolling out 5G to a number of key commuter locations across the UK during 2019; and will switch on the new network in 19 towns and cities, including Wolverhampton, by the end of the year.

The introduction of 5G services supports the West Midlands Combined Authority’s strategy to give consumers and businesses in Birmingham and the surrounding area the very latest digital communications.

Live testing is now also taking place at a number of sites across the city. The sites are all connected to Vodafone’s multi-billion-pound single optical fibre converged network, which is already providing customers in the city with fast 4G mobile, home broadband, Internet of Things (IoT) technology and business services.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “I am delighted that Vodafone has brought 5G to Birmingham; and that New Street is the UK’s first 5G-enabled rail station. When I was Managing Director at John Lewis, we saw online shopping transform the retail industry. I believe the West Midlands 5G project will enable our businesses, hospitals, public transport and universities to explore new services and stay ahead of their competition.”

Anne Sheehan, Director of Vodafone Business said: “We are delighted to bring 5G to the West Midlands, giving businesses, residents and visitors fast and reliable connectivity even in exceptionally busy locations such as train stations and airports. 5G will enable new applications and experiences and support the development of connected cities and smart transport solutions. It will help businesses to implement emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT and robotics. We look forward to continuing to work with Andy Street and his team to deliver the vision of a more prosperous and digitally connected region.

Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Ian Ward said: “The West Midlands wants to lead the way in 5G and this is an exciting step forward. 5G will help us supercharge the West Midlands economy; and the possibilities for businesses, individuals, investors and innovators are huge.”

The West Midlands Urban Connected Communities 5G Project (UCC), initiated and jointly funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will create the UK’s first region-wide 5G test bed and will roll out later this year.

 

You can watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/Sfe3GHmjKqk

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Vodafone UK Media Relations
01635 693 693
@VodafoneUKComms
ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line, broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT). We employ around 11,000 people across the UK, and operate more than 400 retail stores nationwide.

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. Today we serve over 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%. Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, we are rolling out full fibre broadband across 12 towns and cities in partnership with CityFibre, reaching one million homes and business by 2021.

Our ReConnect programme is supporting women and men back into work after a career break, our IoT technology is working to create a low-carbon society, and our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families across the UK to navigate the online world safely. For two years running, we have been named one of the UK’s 25 Best Big Companies to Work For by the Sunday Times, and a Top 100 Employer by Stonewall.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, with mobile operations in 25 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 44 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets. As of 31 December 2018, Vodafone Group had approximately 700 million mobile customers and 21 million fixed broadband customers, including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk

 

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693
Twitter: @VodafoneUKComms

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