Vodafone UK, Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson are conducting ‘over the air’ tests with 5G technology and a device that is similar in size to the 5G mobile phones that are being developed.
5G smartphones will enable extremely high resolution video streaming and gaming on the go and web-browsing at speeds of up to 10 times faster than 4G. The technology is also key to eventually enabling 3D holographic calling on people’s phones – a technology Vodafone was first to demonstrate in the UK last September.
Starting this week, Vodafone has begun lab tests of a 5G smartphone ‘form factor’ test device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem using Ericsson radio equipment at the Vodafone Technology Centre in Newbury, Berkshire. This is a major step in ensuring customers get the best 5G experience possible from their phone and the Vodafone network.
The latest test forms part of Vodafone’s UK-wide trial of 5G in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester. Earlier this week, Vodafone engineers in Salford, Greater Manchester, downloaded an hour and 45 minute-length movie over 5G in just 24 seconds. The same movie over fast 4G (using carrier aggregation) took one minute and 35 seconds to download.