Sponsored By

Vodafone UK readies for standalone 5G futureVodafone UK readies for standalone 5G future

UK operator lines up Ericsson, MediaTek, Oppo and Qualcomm to help with its standalone 5G network and installs trial network at Coventry University.

Anne Morris

July 3, 2020

2 Min Read
Vodafone UK readies for standalone 5G future

Vodafone became the second mobile operator in the UK to flag the first anniversary of its commercial 5G rollout, which comes just over a month after BT/EE marked the occasion with a relatively terse announcement. Like its rival, Vodafone UK appears reluctant to give details on actual take-up of the service, suggesting that things have been going a bit slower than was originally hoped. Indeed, it seems that 5G takeup generally has been lower than expected, prompting KT CEO Hyeon-Mo Ku to urge operators to take a different approach with 5G altogether. As part of its first 5G birthday celebrations, Vodafone UK decided to focus on preparations for the next stage of 5G network development – although it's hard to imagine that discussions about non-standalone (NSA) versus standalone (SA) 5G New Radio (NR) technology are likely to interest the average mobile consumer. However, the move towards a standalone 5G network with a separate 5G core is certainly an important one, allowing 5G networks to break free from the 4G mothership and benefit from new features such as the oft-cited network slicing, edge computing and ultra-low latency. Some operators are already lining up to move from 5G NR NSA to NR SA in 2020 and 2021. Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on Light Reading. Vodafone UK said it is working with Ericsson, MediaTek, Oppo and Qualcomm on the development of its standalone 5G network, although it's not entirely clear when the network will be available. No mention was made of Huawei, which supplies about a third of the equipment for its radio access network (RAN). As things stand, the standalone technology is being showcased at Coventry University, where a network has been built as part of preparations for a 5G campus. The operator said it has also installed the Ericsson 5G Radio Dot system at the university. According to Vodafone's website, it now offers 5G in 44 locations across the UK and 70 locations in Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. In its recent annual report, Vodafone Group said it has launched 5G in 11 of its markets, including eight in Europe. Related posts: KT chief warns of slow 5G adoption Vodafone silent on Huawei as it values 5G at £158B to UK economy Vodafone partners with Ford to deploy private 5G network in UK BT 5G turns one year old with not much to celebrate Huawei befuddled by reports of total 5G ban in UK Vodafone UK takes wrecking ball to 5G market Telstra upgrades to standalone 5G Singapore goes straight to standalone 5G — Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Anne Morris

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist, editor and translator. She has been working in the telecommunications sector since 1996, when she joined the London-based team of Communications Week International as copy editor. Over the years she held the editor position at Total Telecom Online and Total Tele-com Magazine, eventually leaving to go freelance in 2010. Now living in France, she writes for a number of titles and also provides research work for analyst companies.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like