Mobile Network: Vodafone bets big on 5G

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Mobile Network: Vodafone bets big on 5G

Vodafone is set to trial 5G in seven UK cities, Manchester being the very first to go live for the new mobile network, the telco operator announced at. This is supported by the opening of a digital innovation hub in MediaCity (located in the city), giving access to a mix of technology, with plans to rollout more across the country in coming years. The operator is working towards a commercial 5G launch in 2019 and said it aims to have 1,000 sites in operation by 2020.
The operator is working towards a commercial 5G launch in 2019 and said it aims to have 1,000 sites in operation by 2020, Mobile World Live reports. According to the article, Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, delivered his speech during what he described as the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G technology.
Vodafone also showcased improved capabilities for its Tobi chatbot, which now supports 32 end-to-end authenticated customer transactions without human involvement. It will be deployed in-app, in stores and to support customer service agents, while also being used internally for HR and IT support.
But the importance of humans was also highlighted:

As the use of AI increases, for us the human touch becomes more important. So could Tobi handle all queries? Yes, in time he certainly could. But the bigger question is do we want him to, and the answer is no. Because there are some calls that will always need a human touch, and our customers should have the opportunity to talk to our people directly.

Ahead of the launch of 5G services, Vodafone also highlighted the work it is doing to transform its core network. Called RedStream, the company is now running a mix of home broadband, mobile, IoT and businesss services over a single, all fibre network. CTO Scott Petty stated the company is

busy migrating all of our enterprise services.

This year more than 2,000 customers and 18,000 circuits will migrate from older technologies on the new RedStream network,

he continued. With Vodafone moving toward the launch of 5G services, CTO Scott Petty also highlighted the importance of supporting rural areas beyond the main cities: Cornwall and the Lake District will receive coverage in the same timeframe.

We feel that there are opportunities to validate some of the technologies around 5G, such as IoT in agriculture or fixed wireless access for people who can’t get fibre, and we’ve selected rural areas where we can see through our own traffic growth there is need and demand,

Petty explained.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Vodafon


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