Vodafone joins forces with Qualcomm and Ericsson to test 5G

Vodafone storeVodafone is teaming up with Qualcomm and Ericsson to carry out ‘over the air’ tests using 5G technology on a device that resembles the 5G mobile phones currently in development.

The mobile network provider has begun running lab tests of a 5G smartphone ‘form factor’ test device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem using Ericsson radio equipment at its technology centre in Newbury, Berkshire.

“Together with Qualcomm, we continue to advance the testing of 5G NR networks with mobile devices and support Vodafone in deploying 5G across the UK,” said Thomas Noren, head of 5G commercialisation at Ericsson.

Enrico Salvatori, SVP and president of Qualcomm EMEA, added: “We are excited to be working with Vodafone and Ericsson as we head towards 5G commercialisation. These tests will be instrumental in defining and refining the 5G services consumers will be able to access.”

The tests are part of Vodafone’s UK-wide 5G trials in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, and Manchester. According to the company, its engineers managed to download an hour and 45 minute-length movie over 5G in just 24 seconds this week.  

“We made the UK’s first live 5G 3D holographic call between Manchester and Newbury five months ago,” said Nick Jeffrey, Vodafone’s UK chief executive. “Soon after, we carried the UK’s first 5G call over a live mobile network. Today, we are testing technology that will power 5G smartphones. Another first in the UK.”