Tag Archives: 5G

02 launches Massive MIMO 5G pilot in London

O2 massive mimo

02 and Nokia are rolling out two Massive MIMO (multiple input-multiple output) trials in the King’s Cross and Marble Arch areas of London. They say this work will pave the way for 5G deployment across the capital.

Massive MIMO makes mobile networks more efficient by allowing multiple beams of data to be transmitted from the antennas to the device. This boosts speed and capacity.

The locations have been specifically chosen as they have high levels of data traffic. 02 plans to boost coverage in these areas and assess the technology for roll-out elsewhere.

Over 95 million people pass through the King’s Cross/St Pancras each year and more than 14 million people travelled through Marble Arch in 2017.

The pilot will deploy Nokia’s Massive MIMO technology as well as the 2.3GHz spectrum that O2 won in Ofcom’s auction earlier this year. O2 was the only UK network to secure extra 2.3GHz capacity.

Laying 5G’s foundations

02 says that as well as boosting capacity in these areas today, the trial will also lay important foundations for 5G.

Massive MIMO technology is expected to play a crucial role in meeting the increased data demand that 5G will drive. Ofcom’s 2018 Communications Market report finds that the average user consumes 1.9 GB  of data per month. Earlier this year, GiffGaff predicted that the average user will consume 98.34GB per month by 2025.

Brendan O’Reilly, CTO, Telefonica UK, said: “We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace. This is why we are working with Nokia to trial Massive MIMO and to explore the opportunities to provide the increased capacity and denser coverage for our customers, in the areas they need it most.”

Source: Sarah Wray-www.5g.co.uk

 

EE Delivers First Live 5G Broadcast With BT Sport

 
  • BT Sport showcases first live trial of remote production broadcast live over EE’s 5G network
  • EE Wembley Cup Final will be first sporting event broadcast live over 5G using remote production

BT Group’s EE and BT Sport today demonstrated the first live broadcast with remote production over 5G – an approach BT Sport will use to increase the coverage available to viewers with more matches and faster highlights.

The final of the FA-recognised EE Wembley Cup 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G using remote production. The event, featuring YouTube’s biggest footballers alongside international football legends, will be broadcast over EE’s 5G network live from Wembley Stadium on the channel of YouTube star Spencer Owen (Hashtag United) at 2pm on Sunday 25th November 2018.

Building to the hotly anticipated live final, EE and BT Sport have today partnered to showcase the capability by delivering a live, two-way broadcast over 5G from Wembley Stadium to London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre. The live broadcast trial was hosted by BT Sport presenters Matt Smith and Abi Stephens.

The broadcast was carried over 5G in Wembley Stadium, and then produced remotely by the BT Sport production crew at BT Sport’s base in Stratford, East London.

Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, said: “BT Sport has a rich history of the latest broadcast innovations, whether it’s ultra-high-definition with Dolby Atmos or 360Virtual Reality. 5G will next season enable BT Sport to deploy the most advanced remote production of any broadcaster. It will allow us to cover more live matches from more leagues and competitions, and to bring fans highlights action closer to the final whistle than has ever been done before in the UK.”

The 5G broadcast from Wembley Stadium, using EE’s 5G test network in the stadium, showcases the capabilities of 5G. The test network uses EE’s 3.4GHz spectrum from its first 5G antenna in the stadium, connected to a 10Gbps backhaul link.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, said: “This trial is another showcase of what our 5G network can do, and is a big part of our continued investment in using 5G across the whole of BT Group. The EE Wembley Cup Final 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G, and that’s part of our ongoing commitment to innovation for our customers.”

For broadcasters, EE will deploy 5G network slicing technology to create a broadcast grade network providing the guaranteed latency, bandwidth and quality required for live broadcast. 5G will enable broadcasters to send match footage back to base within minutes, opening up more coverage possibilities and reducing costs by reducing the number of technicians required at each game. By adding 5G to EE’s award-winning 4G network, EE is creating a more reliable data connection even in the biggest crowds.Adding 5G to EE’s 4G network will increase reliability and speeds, and keep customers all connected where they need it most.

Designed for the devoted YouTube generation, The EE Wembley Cup 2018 Final featuring Spencer Owen (Hashtag United), F2 Freestylers (F2 FC), Calfreezy (Rebel FC) and WillNE and Stephen Tries (XO), is set to be the most electrifying yet, with some innovative twists and a brand new tournament format including a Draft stage and Man Down Time. Bringing 5G to the EE Wembley Cup marks another major milestone in EE’s ambitious programme to make Wembley the world’s most connected stadium.

EE is the lead partner of Wembley Stadium. Since the partnership kicked off in 2014, EE has introduced several technological advancements to the stadium, including delivering significant network upgrades preceding the latest 5G implementation, ensuring fans can stay connected during events. EE also worked with the Wembley team to deliver the first official Wembley app.

EE will be continuing the rollout of 5G in Wembley Stadium throughout 2019. EE recently launched 5G trials in London and announced plans to rollout 5G to 16 cities across the UK in 2019.

Source: EE

5G could lead to more televised football matches next season

5G to help football

One of the most exciting early uses for 5G could be in broadcasting, and a prime example of that is football, which thanks to BT Sport and 5G technology could see many more matches appear live on TV screens.

5G-enabled remote production will allow football matches to be televised without having to bring in broadcast trucks. The equipment also requires far fewer people to work it, as the 5G router can fit in a backpack. So in other words it’s cheaper and more mobile. As a result, BT Sport expects to start broadcasting National League, women’s football and FA Cup games over 5G as early as next season.

But this move to 5G technology also means that more games can be broadcast live, since there’s less cost involved in doing that. It will also for example allow Match of the Day and other highlights programmes to be broadcast earlier in the evening.

Eventually 5G production could become the norm for sporting events, with BT Sport saying that it might even be used for Premier League matches eventually. And it’s no wonder, as this doesn’t just save on costs, infrastructure and man-power, but can also allow for more varied footage.

Chief engineer at BT Sport Andy Beale explained:

“The cameras will no longer be limited by cables, or tethered, so they can move around anywhere. So you could start the show in the dressing room, then move straight out to watch the teams warming up. Suddenly it unlocks a lot more interesting options that you couldn’t have had previously.”

Football is just the start

But while BT Sport is only talking about football right now, the same benefits apply to other sporting events, as well as to live music and anything else that requires live, on-location filming. It could mean many smaller events that weren’t previously televised soon will be.

BT isn’t the only company looking at this potential either. Red Bee Media has previously said that 5G could be a game-changer for linear TV channels, and we’re hearing about some of the hardware that might enable 5G broadcasts, such as the 5GXLink.

Of course, that’s just one part of the equation. The speed of 5G will also likely lead to many more people tuning in on mobile devices. Indeed, operators have already said that they expect 5G usage to be heavily weighted towards streaming video.

And if you’re worried all that 5G use could make it unreliable to use for broadcasting, there’s no need, because, as BT explains, a section of bandwidth will be ring-fenced specifically for media and entertainment use.

Source: James Rogerson-www.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 to launch MediaCityUK hub to foster 5G innovation

 

Media City

Vodafone is launching a new Innovation Hub at The Landing (shown above) in MediaCityUK, Salford.

The Landing already offers workspace for companies and has developed a reputation for fostering high-tech and digital businesses. Vodafone’s new hub will give entrepreneurs and start-ups access to the latest tech resources, such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), high-speed fibre and more.

Gigabit cities

Vodafone says it is opening the Innovation Hub as part of its commitment to Greater Manchester as one of the UK’s seven ‘gigabit cities’.

Last year, Vodafone struck a deal along with wholesale fibre network infrastructure provider City Fibre to deliver superfast Gigabit broadband to 12 cities in the UK by 2025, benefiting up to five million UK homes and businesses. Under the agreement, Vodafone has a period of exclusive rights to market ultra-fast broadband services on City Fibre’s fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).

The seven cities announced so far are:  Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Vodafone says it plans to roll out Innovation Hubs in other cities too.

Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford, called MediaCityUK “an emerging smart city”. He said Vodafone’s input would set Salford up as an example of what new networks and interconnectivity can deliver for a city and its citizens. He highlighted potential in areas including transport, energy and health.

Related: What is Gigabit LTE?

A living lab

The Innovation Hub will offer the opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop, test and commercialise their products.

Jon Corner, Chief Digital Officer for City of Salford and CEO at The Landing, said the Innovation Hub will turn the venue into a ‘living lab’. He said it will help to demonstrate that 5G is about more than just new handsets and faster speeds, noting that it will also have an impact on how networks are organised, and the way we share data and consume content.

Further, Corner said, 5G will enable businesses – such as the ones based at The Landing – to use immersive technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to create completely new applications that change the way we interact on a day-to-day basis.

Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK, commented: “I am delighted that Vodafone, in collaboration with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and MediaCityUK, will open the Digital Innovation Hub located in the heart of this connected city. The hub at The Landing will give UK businesses, start-ups and tech innovators access to 5G, IoT, high-speed fibre and our best technical resources and we plan to roll out these innovation hubs throughout UK cities.”

Source: Sarah Wray-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

5G used to send data to a self-driving vehicle at record speeds

Warwick 5G

One thing that 5G could make a lot more viable is self-driving and connected cars, as a new trial has shown, because researchers in the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick have just set a 5G communications speed record to a ‘Level 4’ low speed autonomous vehicle.

The trial used the 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) band to send data at speeds of up to 2.867 gigabits per second, which is almost 40 times faster than you’d get with fixed line broadband.

To put that into perspective, the researchers note that this is the equivalent of transferring an entire HD film in under 10 seconds, or a detailed sat nav map of the UK in just 1 second.

Useful and potentially life-saving

Being able to send data this fast is important, as it will allow vehicles to share data both with traffic management systems and with each other near instantly, which could help with a number of things from optimising the routes they take to avoid congestion, to potentially life-saving things.

Because, after all, autonomous vehicles will have their passengers’ lives in their hands, so they’ll need to know and be able to respond to situations on the road as fast as possible.

Examples of the information that could be transferred in this way include traffic information, high definition video images of the surroundings, and precise 3D road maps.

However, the ability to send and receive data at such high speeds could also transform in-car entertainment systems, since films would instantly be available.

Not the only test

The test was carried out using WMG’s 5G mmWave test facility, which is said to be one of the most advanced in Europe, and it’s part of an ongoing series of tests using mmWave spectrum with connected vehicles.

But this is just one of a number of recent trials involving autonomous vehicles. FiveAI is currently working towards a driverless car service in London for example, and moving away from cars, another recent trial has been exploring the potential of autonomous drones.

Source: James Rogerson- 5g.co.uk.

 

Vodafone made a holographic 5G call and accelerated its launch plans

Vodafone made a holographic 5G call and accelerated its launch plans

Vodafone 5G

Vodafone has just completed the UK’s first live holographic call over 5G, with England and Manchester City Women’s Football Captain, Steph Houghton MBE being projected as a hologram from Manchester to Newbury.

During the call she gave footballing tips to 11-year-old Manchester City and Lionesses fan, Iris, emphasising in the process the potential for holographic calls to be used for remote coaching and training, as unlike just a phone call or even a video call, it’s almost like the person is actually there.

There are all sorts of useful things this technology could be used for, such as essentially placing all participants of a conference call in the same room, letting fans get closer to their idols – whether sports stars, musicians, actors or anything else, or just making calls a lot more personal and more like a face to face conversation. It’s one of many new technologies that the high speed and low latency of 5G could power.

Vodafone 5G

Of course, there’s other tech involved in holograms than just 5G, and as Richard Foggie of the Knowledge Transfer Network explained to the BBC, headgear or an enclosed ‘cave’ is required to view holograms currently, limiting their viability, but he predicts that five years from now that hurdle will have been overcome. By which point 5G should be widely available.

Coming sooner than you might think

In fact, you shouldn’t have to wait long at all to start getting 5G from Vodafone, as the network has also announced that it will bring 5G to Cornwall and the Lake District during 2019, with 1,000 5G sites set to be active by 2020.

That’s notable for two reasons. Firstly, Vodafone had previously said not to expect 5G from the network before 2020, so it seems as though it has accelerated its launch, putting it more in line with EE and BT.

Secondly, it sounds like the network will be putting a lot of focus on rural areas in the early days, which is surprising, but potentially a good thing, as there has been concern that rural places could initially get left behind, leaving a greater digital divide between them and cities than there is now. It seems Vodafone doesn’t want to let that happen.

Source: James Rogerson 5G

O2 uses light to transmit data in latest network trial

th

LED light bulbs will be used to provide high-speed wireless connectivity in a brand new network trial unveiled by mobile operator O2 at its HQ in Slough today.

The cutting-edge trial, conducted in partnership with pureLiFi, uses LED lights to send large amounts of data, while appearing as white light to the human eye. The move is the latest in a series of O2 network trials as it paves the way for its 5G launch in the UK.

As part of the trial, O2 has installed pureLiFi’s LiFi-XC system, comprising of nine LiFi-enabled LED light bulbs, in the ‘Explore Room’ of its Slough HQ. The system enables data to be transmitted from a LED light bulb and back at high speeds through adjustments in the bulb’s brightness. The result is a high-speed, bi-directional and fully networked wireless communication of data.

The LiFi system has the potential to serve as a serious contender to WiFi, which uses radio frequencies. Its reliance on the visible light spectrum aims to enable safer, more reliable and more secure wireless data communication than WiFi. It also has the potential to reduce infrastructure complexity and energy consumption.

Derek McManus, O2’s Chief Operations Officer, said: “At O2 we’re committed to building the best network possible for our customers, and a huge part of that is making sure we’re ahead of the pack in testing the latest technology.

“Our LiFi trial shows how you can deliver high-speed connectivity to customers in new ways and is another example of how we’re future-proofing our network as we pave the way for 5G in the UK.”

Alistair Banham, CEO of pureLiFi, said: “With the proliferation of internet-of-things devices and continued growth in mobile users, the demand for spectrum is under increasing pressure. LiFi is capable of unlocking unprecedented and much-needed data and bandwidth, and we are delighted that O2 has chosen to partner with pureLiFi to explore this tremendous potential. O2 is at the forefront of championing technologies to provide real solutions for 5G and beyond, and we look forward to working with them towards our common goal.”

Data-gathering cars to hit London streets ahead of autonomous trials

 

Five A1

UK company FiveAI has been given the go-ahead to deploy data-gathering cars on London’s streets to pave the way for a potential driverless car service.

FiveAI plans to spend the next 10 months deploying five cars (with drivers on board) in Bromley and Croydon to collect data on roads, including layout, topology and traffic flow, as well as road user behaviour. The data collected will be processed in line with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and used to feed into the development of FiveAI’s planned services.

FiveAI notes that all its data collection vehicles will be clearly branded and feature an “obvious array” of sensors to ensure transparency.

Towards trials

The shared service the company is working on will target commuters who drive at least part of their journey. FiveAI hopes to run a supervised trial of autonomous vehicles in London in 2019.

FiveAI co-founder Ben Peters says that autonomous vehicles will be much safer than human-driven cars and the data-gathering exercise is a crucial stage towards getting them onto the roads.

He commented: “By supporting London’s transport objectives with a shared driverless car service, FiveAI can play a crucial role in reducing congestion, emissions, incidents and the cost and time of journeys to benefit all Londoners.”

5G and autonomous vehicles

Some say that autonomous cars will only be a reality when we have 5G. Elsewhere, alongside data-gathering initiatives such as FiveAI’s, trials are ongoing to ensure that 5G connectivity will be in place to support driverless cars in the future.

For example, at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford, as part of the AutoAir project, led by Airspan Networks, advanced 5G test networks are being deployed to validate connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies. The researchers are focused on areas such as complicated cell-tower hand-offs and issues related to bandwidth. They are also looking at how the work they are doing on 5G connectivity could be transferred to road and rail systems.

Meanwhile, government mapping agency, Ordnance Survey (OS), is leading an initiative to help better understand the infrastructure needed to support a nationwide network of CAVs. The E-CAVE project will run for four years and will focus on the geospatial aspects of how CAVs exchange safety-related messages between themselves and the supporting environment.

OS is also working with the 5G Innovation Centre and the Met Office on a digital twinning tool to help determine the best places to put radio antennae to underpin a 5G network.

Source: Sarah Wray www.5g.co.uk