Vodafone has announced the launch of a 5G trial in Manchester Airport, installing a ‘Gigacube’ in Terminal One – effectively a hotspot – to allow customers to experience the 5G euphoria.
Though there are still no 5G devices on the market, and all 5G trials to date have made use of Massive MIMO technology, the fixed wireless access gives customers connected devices a taste of what’s to come.
Compared with 4G speeds, Vodafone says that the launch of its 5G Blast Pod will mean travellers can enjoy download speeds of under a minute to download a TV episode, and roughly six minutes to download an entire series – which is around four times faster than 4G.
Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK says, “5G, with its fast speeds and quick response times, will make that quick and easy, even in busy locations. We are proud to be the first provider to bring 5G to an airport and will be adding more major travel hotspots to our 5G network throughout the year.”
“We are delighted to support Vodafone’s 5G trial at Manchester Airport,” adds Brad Miller, COO at Manchester Airport. “As we progress with the design and delivery of our £1 billion transformation programme, we are constantly exploring how new innovations and technology can be applied to improve the airport experience.”
While the UK’s 5G buzz has been a slower process than elsewhere around the world – namely the US and South Korea – it certainly is catching on. According to Vodafone the Manchester airport was the first of its travel-related 5G initiatives, with the next trial set to continue in Birmingham on the Snowy Hill railway station.