Vodafone 5G arrives at Gatwick Airport

September 12, 2019

Passengers at Gatwick Airport can now experience the faster speeds and greater reliability of 5G thanks to Vodafone. This means they can enjoy gaming on the go or quickly download a film or TV box set or transfer large work documents before they catch a flight. The South Terminal is now 5G ready, with the North Terminal set to follow by early 2020.

Vodafone has installed a high speed, high capacity fibre optic network to carry 5G throughout the airport. This allows holidaymakers and business travellers to enjoy a strong 5G signal on their smartphones and tablets in the departure lounges and arrivals, as well as in the many shops and restaurants. And with Vodafone’s Unlimited Max data plan, customers won’t have to worry about running out of data.

The greater capacity of 5G is ideal for providing fast speeds to large numbers of people at the same time in areas of high density such as Gatwick Airport, where 24,000 people work and which serves more than 46 million passengers a year. With passenger numbers increasing year-on-year, 5G bandwidth can grow exponentially to meet future demand.

The rapid response times of 5G will also help Gatwick Airport support the growing number of connected devices and applications, which require instant communications. Examples include an upcoming trial of robotic parking and the further automation of a number of check-in and boarding procedures under Gatwick Airport’s five-year investment programme to create the UK’s leading ‘smart airport’.

The 5G experience does not end at the airport. Vodafone’s 5G network is available in more places across the UK and the rest of Europe than any other network. Passengers can also use 5G at no additional cost when they touch down in Germany, Italy and Spain, as Vodafone is the only UK mobile company to launch 5G roaming. Vodafone customers can now roam on 5G in 62 places across Europe.

John Barton, Chief Information Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “We are delighted to announce yet another world-class facility at Gatwick with Vodafone’s new 5G network now available in the South Terminal. Passengers using the network will benefit from super fast speeds when surfing the web and downloading files, or even box sets to provide video entertainment during one of the many long haul flights that depart from the airport.”

“5G also has the potential to unlock a wide range of new capabilities and to reliably connect everything around us to a network many times faster than those it replaces. Many of the 250 companies based on the Gatwick campus can also benefit from this super fast 5G service, including those that rely heavily on mobile applications for their day to day business.”

Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty added: “We are delighted to support Gatwick Airport’s ambition to become one of the world’s leading smart airports with our investment in 5G. The installation of hundreds of kilometres of fibre at the airport will enable us to offer great coverage to the millions of people who use Gatwick Airport each year, as well as to connect its systems and vehicles on site. For example, by connecting mobility carts, airport staff will know where they are at all times, meaning they are better able to help passengers who need support.”

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Vodafone UK Media Relations
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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.

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