Vodafone has conducted a successful trial connecting next-generation 5G smartphones to its network for the first time as it prepares to launch 5G in some European cities later this year, it said on Wednesday.
The company is preparing to launch 5G in a number of European cities during the second half of 2019.
Vodafone sayd it has successfully completed trials over a four-week period with three 5G smartphones that will be launched in 2019.
The company was able to make a 4K video call on its network during the trial, utilising 5G download speeds that will be up to 10 times faster than 4G is today.
Both the smartphones and Vodafone’s 5G network were fully compliant with the latest version of the industry standard for Non-Standalone 5G - 3GPP’s ‘Release 15’, which was approved in December 2018.
Vodafone has already rolled out a 5G network in the city centre of Barcelona. During Mobile World Congress, which starts on 25 February, a car will drive around the city streets measuring and reporting the 1.5Gbps speeds that the network is already delivering.
Vodafone has invested in single Radio Access Network technology across 98% of its European 4G footprint. That will make it simpler for Vodafone to add 5G on top of its existing 4G network in future. Additionally, Vodafone has been participating in 5G spectrum auctions in its European operating markets. The company claims that more than two-thirds of its single RAN sites within major European cities already have sufficient backhaul to support 5G network speeds.