5G phones could be coming to the UK earlier than we thought

5G phones could be coming to the UK earlier than we thought5G phones could be coming to the UK earlier than we thought

According to multiple reports from the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week, 5G New Radio could be ready for commercial use within the next few years.

5G New Radio is the next generation wireless technology that is expected to become the new global standard, with several telecommunications giants pledging that their networks will be ready as soon as 2019.

Companies such as T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom, Intel, Qualcomm and AT&T all made announcements at the annual trade show held in Spain this year.

Perhaps the most interesting announcement for the UK market is the news that Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson are teaming up to conduct 5G trials over the Vodafone network. Tests are due to take place in Britain in the second half of 2016 across the sub-6GHz bands.

Speaking at the MWC this week, Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm said: “We are very happy to announce new 5G new radio trials with NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, and Telstra. 5G goes beyond the regular operator business; it’s a business revolution. And I think it’s a way for our customers to increase their relevance yet again.”

Vodafone’s Director of Technology, Architecture and Strategy Matt Beal said: “The demonstration of the 5G standard in sub-6GHz bands is an important step forward in the development of 5G.”

He added: “Standardisation of this technology will help deliver high-3performing and reliable 5G mobile networks with global coverage. A common standard also promises to deliver the economies of scale, which will help drive adoption of the technology in consumer devices and the internet of things.”

But this was far from the only 5G innovation to be announced over the past few days.

Back in October, Qualcomm outlined their plans for the world’s first 5G modem – the X50. Now they have announced it will support the new 5G New Radio standards, giving it access to the 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G spectrums all on a single chip. Crucially this means areas without 4G will still be covered.

With impressive specs, the new modem is expected to provide wider bandwidths and significantly higher speeds for mobile broadband.

Elsewhere in 5G news, just days ago Samsung and Aqiva announced plans to test the network in Britain as an alternative to the fibre service currently offered by BT Openreach.

Best known for operating 8,000 mobile phone masts around the UK, Arqiva will be trialling their 5G fixed-wireless technology in central London.

You can read more about how 5G works here.

About the Author

Jack Henry
Jack is a seasoned journalist across multiple industries. He writes predominantly on regulatory news at Broadband London.

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