Vodafone planning 1,000 5G sites in the U.K. by 2020

While 5G hasn’t been deployed at enough scale for the first killer app to emerge, the next generation of cellular will sport major capacity increases and latency decreases. In the U.K., operator Vodafone this week conducted a 5G demonstration of holographic calling.

Notable footballer Steph Houghton took part in the demonstration. She was physically located at Vodafone’s Manchester office, but appeared as a “live 3D hologram” on a stage in Newbury. Houghton gave advice to young fans.

Vodafone’s larger 5G strategy involves setting up trial areas in seven cities and plans to expand to 1,000 sites by 2020.

Vodafone U.K. CEO Nick Jeffrey, noting the holographic cal as well as IoT projects, said, “The initiatives we’ve launched today are designed to ensure that everyone can benefit from the digital technologies transforming how we live and work. From our customers and employees, to university students, digital entrepreneurs and businesses, we want to help people across the U.K. get ready for a digital future.”

Here’s a video highlighting the demonstration.

It’s worth noting that while this is a first for Vodafone and a first in the United Kingdom, Verizon and KT did some something in April last year. That test call took place while Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam was in Seoul to meet with KT CEO Hwang Chang-gyu.

KT is developing hologram calling as a flagship 5G service. For this test, both Verizon and KT used 5G trial networks deployed in the 28 GHz band.



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