News

Vodafone UK conducts first holographic call using 5G in live test

September 20, 2018
  • The UK’s first holographic call using 5G takes place between Manchester and Newbury  

  • Manchester City and England Captain, Steph Houghton, participates live in holographic form with young female fan in live test of 5G technology

  • Vodafone confirms ‘we are ready for 5G’ as first of seven UK test cities set to go live

  • Watch Vodafone make the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G here  

Vodafone has conducted a live, holographic phone call as part of the company’s 5G trials. The call, conducted between Vodafone’s offices in Manchester and Newbury is the first of its kind in the UK, and forms part of Vodafone’s ongoing testing of new 5G technology.

Manchester City and England Women’s Captain, Steph Houghton MBE, stationed in Manchester, interacted in 3D, real-time communication with Vodafone UK’s Enterprise Director, Anne Sheehan, in Newbury. This gives a glimpse of what advances in network and technology could bring to our lives in the future.  Also taking part in the conversation was young Manchester City and Lionesses fan Iris, 11. Iris’s dream of being in the same room as her idol was realised through the power of 5G and the use of a HoloLens virtual reality headset – despite being over 190 miles away. The exchange demonstrated the exciting possibilities that such technology can bring to sport, including remote coaching and training as well as the ability to bring fans closer to their idols.

The call follows Vodafone’s successful first test of new 5G spectrum across a live network in April 2018 and gives an early indication of how advances in technology can transform our lives in the future. The power of super-low latency 5G could enable a range of life-changing applications, from a surgeon remotely joining a theatre to advise on a patient’s condition, to a technician with a virtual reality headset advising on the fix of critical infrastructure, to 4K gaming on the move. 5G significantly reduces the time it takes for data to be sent and received. This will help eliminate the motion sickness many people experience when using today’s VR headsets over a mobile network.

Commenting on the ground breaking call, Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said: “We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for 5G with a multi-billion pound investment in new fibre infrastructure and technology. I can confirm today that we are ready and good to go with UK-wide city and rural 5G trials starting from next month.”

The holographic moment took place during Vodafone’s ‘Future Ready’ conference in front of a live audience. Football captain Steph Houghton MBE, who dialled in as a hologram from Manchester said: “It was fantastic to see first-hand the opportunities 5G could bring. As a player, one of the most exciting benefits of 5G is the ability to bring us closer to our fans no matter where they are, allowing us to interact with them remotely in real-time. When I’m playing abroad with Manchester City and England, this technology will also make it even easier to stay connected with everyone back home. To communicate in 3D, in real time and with no delay or interruption is an unbelievable experience.”

Vodafone also confirmed that in the coming weeks it will switch on 5G trials in the first of its city test beds, following end-to-end 5G testing at its Newbury-based laboratory. Manchester and Birmingham will be the first of Vodafone’s seven UK 5G test cities to go live, underlining a commitment to develop a super-fast and reliable network across the UK. We will also roll out 5G to popular UK holiday destinations such as Cornwall and the Lake District during 2019, so the UK’s cities aren’t the only places to benefit.

The infrastructure and technology is already in place to support 5G on our network. Vodafone was the first company in Europe to introduce Multiple Antenna (Massive MIMO) – an important building block of 5G – to boost capacity. With the addition of Software Defined Network and Edge Computing layers, we will be able to bring the power of 5G closer to customers on a mass scale when compatible devices arrive.

 

The Internet of Things

We believe 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to transform life for us all. Vodafone already has around 74 million IoT connections worldwide, and we are building on our leadership by rolling out the UK’s first Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network to connect millions of critical appliances that other mobile services cannot reach.

For the first time, hard to reach, out of sight things such as gas or water leak detectors embedded underground, alarms situated deep within buildings or even livestock and electricity lines in remote areas will be able to be connected. The benefits of this will be far-reaching, from improving human safety and increasing energy efficiency, to connecting areas made inaccessible after extreme weather.

– ends –

For further information:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: 01635 693 693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Contact

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

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 25 countries, partners with mobile networks in 46 more, and has fixed broadband operations in 18 markets. As of 31 March 2018, Vodafone Group had 535.8 million mobile customers and 19.7 million fixed broadband customers, including India and 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 partners with businesses of all sizes – from start-ups and small businesses to the largest corporates and the public sector. The company has worked with UK businesses for over 30 years, starting out as a mobile provider and becoming one of the UK’s leading total communications partners. It provides a range of voice and data services, secure communications infrastructure, fixed and contact centre capability, and unified communications, and was the first mobile phone operator to offer a truly converged service for fixed and mobile.

Vodafone UK

Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN, England
www.vodafone.com

Vodafone UK Media Relations

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

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587

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