Tag Archives: 5G trials

Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care given more funding

  Liverpool 5G testbed

A number of 5G first are happening in the UK, including Europe’s first dedicated 5G health and social care pilot, which has been running through Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care, and has just received an extra £1.48 million in funding to see it through another 12 months.

The funding is in recognition of the “great work” being done there, and £0.94 million of the funding comes from the government, while the other £0.54 million comes from consortium partners.

So what is all that funding getting us? A number of things. With that money and 5G tech, Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care has trialled the likes of:

  • A Loneliness Gaming and Quizzing app, developed with the help of people with learning difficulties.
  • A device called ‘WarnHydrate’, which is used to detect dehydration in older people.
  • A ‘push to talk’ loneliness app for isolated carers which lets them talk to other isolated carers.
  • Sensors and cameras which are installed in homes to detect falls, changes in temperature and unusual behaviour patterns.
  • ‘PAMAN’ – a video link to a local pharmacy, to help ensure people can take medicines at home safely.
  • ‘Telehealth in a Box’, which allows communication between The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Trust and patients in the community.
  • 5G-supported VR devices that are being used as a palliative pain distraction in wards.

That’s in addition to trials of wireless 5G mesh networks that use existing fibre combined with infrastructure erected on lamp posts and the like, and which can be delivered cost effectively across urban areas.

Freeing up resources

Many of these technologies are focused on helping people manage long-term health conditions themselves from home, which means that health and care resources can be redirected to areas where they’re urgently needed. In other words, these initiatives could improve health and social care without requiring more manpower.

And they weren’t possible previously, as they require the reliability, consistency and speed of 5G to work effectively.

The fact that Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care has received this additional funding shows that these technologies are making a real difference, so it might not be long before they’re rolled out more widely.

And health is just one area that 5G looks set to transform. We’re also seeing 5G trials and testbeds focused on tourism, rural and agricultural use, automated vehicles, manufacturing and more.

Source: James Rogerson. 5g.co.uk

EE brings first live 5G trial to the UK with Canary Wharf trial

  EE 5G trial canary wharf

EE has seemingly just hit a major milestone with its 5G trials and testing, as it has launched its first live 5G trial, which it also claims is the UK’s first live 5G trial.

Hosted in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, the trial is designed to test 5G spectrum and devices for coverage, speeds and performance, and Canary Wharf was an obvious choice of location, as it’s a very busy area, with 150,000 people coming to the Canary Wharf estate every day.

5G will have to cope with huge data demands from vast numbers of connected devices, so it’s important to trial it in an area such as this that really will put it to the test.

Indeed, EE notes that high capacity zone testing is a critical part of its 5G launch programme, and as such it’s not stopping with Canary Wharf, as the network also plans to put ten more 5G sites live across east London later this month, with the trials aimed at both consumer and business technology.

Using 3.4GHz spectrum and Huawei equipment

This trial will use 5G New Radio over the 3.4GHz spectrum that EE acquired 40MHz of at Ofcom’s recent spectrum auction. This spectrum is likely to be the cornerstone of early 5G networks and EE wants to test how it behaves in a real-life setting. The trial will be carried out using Huawei equipment.

Fotis Karonis, 5G Technology Lead at BT Group, said: “This is the latest milestone in our 5G rollout – a live test of our 5G network, in a hugely busy ‘hotspot’, where we know there’s going to be demand from customers for increased mobile capacity. With constant upgrades to 4G, and laying the foundations for 5G, we’re working to always be able to deliver what our customers need – both consumers and the vertical industries that will make the greatest use of 5G. We were UK pioneers with 4G and today we saw the UK’s first live connections on 5G – this is a huge step forward for our digital infrastructure.”

This of course isn’t EE’s only 5G test. The network previously tested 5G in lab conditions, hitting download speeds of 2.8Gbps in the process. This was done using 3.5GHz spectrum. Last year it also became the first UK network to demonstrate pre-5G backhaul technology.

Source: James Rogerson-5G.co.uk

 

Vodafone and 5G deveopment in the UK

Vodafone 5G in the UK

Vodafone 5g coverage

Updated 18th September 2018

Vodafone has amassed a decent amount of spectrum, won big at the recent 5G spectrum auction and is already carrying out various 5G trials, including some UK firsts.

It’s got big plans too, with seven UK cities set to get 5G trial networks imminently and an ambitious goal to bring 1 gigabyte per second speeds to its customers at home, work and everywhere in between.

Vodafone is in no rush though, having revealed that it probably won’t launch a 5G network before 2020 and probably won’t have widespread coverage until years after that. But doing things right is surely better than doing them fast, and its roll out timing and speed should still be roughly in line with most rivals.

Here’s everything you need to know about Vodafone 5G in the UK, including its launch plans, its spectrum holdings and what it’s currently working on.

Network and launch plans

Network

Vodafone has a large 4G network, with over 98% of the UK population covered at last count, which could help with 5G as well, because initially networks will likely use a mix of 5G and 4G technology.

This widespread coverage also shows that Vodafone has a strong commitment to upgrading and expanding its network, which will likely continue into 5G.

It’s also focused on speed, as Vodafone also has a 4G LTE Advanced network in some locations, which can be seen as a stepping stone between standard 4G and 5G.

With all that in mind it seems likely that Vodafone would make a big push into 5G, potentially seeing it catapult ahead of rival networks and develop new technologies faster.

Spectrum holdings

Vodafone came out of Ofcom’s recent 5G spectrum auction with 50MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum, which it paid £378,240,000 for and specifically acquired the 3410MHz – 3460MHz part of the band.

That’s more than any other rival acquired, as EE and O2 each got 40MHz while Three won just 20MHz. That could put Vodafone in a strong early 5G position, as 3.4GHz spectrum should be ideal for the upcoming technology, though notably Three already had some before the auction.

Vodafone also has 176MHz of immediately useable spectrum in other bands. This is less suited to 5G and Vodafone has less of it than EE, but it still has a reasonable amount.

Immediately useable spectrum 3.4GHz held 3.4GHz allocation Total spectrum held
176MHz 50MHz 3410-3460Mhz 226MHz
Note: ‘Immediately useable spectrum’ refers to spectrum in various bands that can be used now for 4G, 3G and 2G. Vodafone holds spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1.4GHz, 1.8GHz, 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz bands.

Note also that Vodafone should have plenty of opportunities to acquire more spectrum, as Ofcom is set to auction off some in the 3.6GHz – 3.8GHz range and the 700MHz band at some point, and is also planning to look into other frequency bands that might have auctionable spectrum suited to 5G.

Launch plans

Vodafone plans to start offering 5G services in early 2020, which could see it launch slightly behind EE and BT, but probably around the same time as Three and O2.

This slightly later launch may also mean Vodafone is less dependent on existing technology from day one – a situation which O2 claims will lead pre-2020 5G networks to be ‘5G lite’.

Vodafone has additionally said that it sees its 5G roll out as following a similar timeline to 4G, which is to say it will be gradual, with 50% of UK devices getting a 5G connection by the mid-2020’s.

We don’t know which places will get Vodafone 5G first, but London is sure to be among them, as it’s the biggest UK city and as that’s where Vodafone’s 4G network started.

Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester may also be first in line, given that the network has announced trials in those cities (more on that below).

Current trial and development activities

5G trials

Vodafone has carried out the UK’s first trial of 3.4GHz spectrum for 5G use. The network also tested Massive MIMO in the process.

Perhaps even more excitingly, it’s announced 5G trials in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester, which are set to kick off between October and December 2018.

This is apparently the most comprehensive 5G trial in the UK to date and will be used to test virtual and augmented reality in factories, hospitals and offices.

Vodafone is additionally set to carry out 5G New Radio field trial collaborations with Nokia and Qualcomm.

And Vodafone’s focus on speed has already hit a major milestone, as in partnership with Huawei it’s achieved 20Gbps speeds in a 5G field test.

Vodafone has also become the first mobile operator to complete a standalone pre-standard 5G test, and along with other companies has approved the first 5G standard.

These trials and Vodafone’s 5G plans in general are part of a ‘Gigabit UK’ plan the network has, which would see customers able to access speeds of 1Gbps or more wherever they are, using a combination of 5G and fast fixed broadband.

Other development activities

Vodafone seems primarily focused on speed and Internet of Things (IoT) applications with 5G, but it’s starting with the basics, and has partnered with Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Intel to both research 5G and prepare its network for the technology transition.

Vodafone has already started working towards a 5G network, including building some Massive MIMO sites in the UK. Massive MIMO base stations use 64 transmit and 64 receive streams, rather than the two elements used by current antennas. It’s a foundational 5G technology which will allow more data to be transferred as well as improving coverage, and Vodafone claims to be the first European network to deploy it.

And when it comes to the Internet of Things, Vodafone isn’t even waiting for 5G to expand its capabilities, as it plans to add Narrowband-IoT support to its existing network to bring 5G-like benefits ahead of time, by improving indoor coverage and supporting a high number of low-power devices within close proximity.

It’s already carried out a Narrowband-IoT test on a live commercial network, so we may see the fruits of its labour soon, but we’d expect even better IoT services from Vodafone once 5G does arrive.

Source: 5g.co.uk