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Vodafone 5G goes online in a first for the UK

The telecom provider flips the switch on the next generation of wireless connectivity

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Vodafone says its  site at Salford, Greater Manchester, is now carrying live 5G traffic.

Vodafone

Vodafone says it has activated the UK's first 5G coverage network.

The British telecommunications company on Thursday started streaming over 5G from its site in Salford, Greater Manchester, to test the next generation of wireless connectivity.

The site provides coverage to MediaCityUK -- a property development with tenants like the BBC, ITV Granada and the University of Salford -- and the surrounding area.

Previously, UK 5G tests have only encompassed a single location or used parts of the 4G network, Vodafone noted.

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"We are leading the rollout of 5G across the UK, starting with Greater Manchester. A further six cities –- Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London –- will shortly receive full 5G too," said Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery in a statement.

Next year, the company plans to bring 5G to the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall, the Lake District and other locations.

Back in March, the British government announced the winners of a £25 million competition to test 5G technologies across the UK, with the funds divided among projects based on using the connectivity for rural communities, tourism, health care, agriculture, manufacturing and self-driving cars.

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