Vodafone has picked Ericsson to start making big changes to its 4G and 5G coverage in London and Southern England.
The Swedish mobile manufacturer will supply Vodafone with the technology to superpower its existing 4G network and boost coverage.
Vodafone 4G is a slower and smaller network than its nearest rivals O2 and EE but saw a big jump in use and availability in the latest industry tests.
The two companies will work together on a number of 5G projects, including 5G radio technology and 5G business case studies, including cloud-optimised network solutions.
The wide-ranging agreement includes trials of new technologies, including Massive MIMO and Carrier Aggregation services.
We are working with Vodafone UK to evolve its 4G network and test new 5G technologies. Together we will enable ubiquitous connectivity for users.- Arun Bansal: Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson
It’s not just Vodafone getting in on the excitement around 5G, which promises mobile and broadband speeds 10 times faster than 4G.
O2 recently allocated £80m to improve its wireless connectivity in London and start installing 5G ‘small cells’ tech across the capital.
What’s the tech?
Massive MIMO technology, included in the Vodafone deal, uses advanced antenna arrays to provide improved radio signals and increased capacity. Carrier Aggregation combines multiple mobile frequencies to provide increased capacity for users.
As 5G services draw ever nearer, Vodafone insists it hasn’t given up on 4G, despite the company’s current standing compared to its competitors – EE currently offers the fastest 4G network.
Vodafone UK’s Technology Director, Jorge Fernandes says: “We are continually enhancing our network to optimise performance and give customers the best possible experience. We will continue to expand our 4G network and develop greater capabilities for our customers.”