5G Standalone trial network switched on by Vodafone | VanillaPlus

VodafoneUK mobile phone operator to switch on its 5G Stand Alone (5G SA) network, with selected customers now able to try out its many benefits.

Eligible customers who choose the trial will benefit from even better reliability, improved battery life and improved coverage.

Who can take part in the Vodafone 5G SA trial?

Selected customers in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Bath, Glasgow and Birmingham and who have opposite Find X3/X5 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S21/S22 handsets on Unlimited Max plans will be contacted via SMS to participate in the trial.

The trial comes at no extra cost to participating customers and they can opt out whenever they want.

How is 5G SA different from the 5G we already have?

The 5G non-standalone network available today uses 5G radios, with the Core network still using 4G-era technology. 5G Standalone, on the other hand, uses updated technology from top to bottom so that it can offer even more in addition to the increased speeds that 5G non-standalone has already brought.

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What are the benefits of 5G SA?

The increased reliability and responsiveness of the 5G Independent network will bring:

  • Improved smartphone battery life.
  • Smoother online gaming and video streaming experiences with minimized lag and buffering due to the low latency of 5G Standalone.
  • Improved coverage the 5G Independent test goes further than what is delivered by 5G networks today; the increase is the equivalent to the area in which more than a million customers live.
  • Significantly better 5G coverage indoors, thanks to the use of low-frequency radio waves.
  • Greater responsiveness and reliability in busy areas, as 5G Independent is built to connect significantly more devices simultaneously.
  • Improved security due to more advanced end-to-end encryption and next-generation security software.
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Vodafone will also test network steering, a technology that allows the network to direct a device automatically to the correct connectivity (4G, 5G non-standalone or 5G Independent), depending on what services are being used. Network driving will improve the efficiency of Vodafone’s network, providing a better experience for all customers.

What does the future hold for 5G SA?

All this is just the beginning. The low latency of 5G Standalone will enable even more immersive and interactive experiences, such as augmented and virtual reality, as well as use cases that rely on near-real-time data processing or feedback, such as self-driving vehicles or remote medical consultations and surgery.

One of the main advantages of 5G Independent is a capability called “network slicing”. Vodafone can use it to create separate, discrete parts of the network, customized for different customers depending on their connectivity requirements.

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For example, one slice could be reserved for the emergency services, prioritizing reliability above all else. In March 2022, Vodafone and Ericsson completed laboratory tests for net cutting.

When will 5G SA roll out across the UK?

To enable the rollout of 5G Standalone to communities across the UK, not just the big cities, support from the Government and the regulators is needed.

Ofcom and the Government helped create a pro-investment environment for full fiber broadband networks, leading to the speed at which they are available today.

The same efforts should be replicated for mobile networks, as they can act as a catalyst for economic growth across the UK to the extent that £150 billion of economic potential can be unlocked using 5G Standalone.

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