Vodafone is also set to upgrade its street level network infrastructure as the company looks to improve its coverage levels across the UK
Vodafone is embarking upon a subterranean network upgrade project to improve 4G connectivity across the UK and to lay the ground work for its 5G offering, expected to launch in Q4 2019.
The network upgrade project will see Vodafone installing a series of manhole cover antennas across the country, connected back to Vodafone’s all fibre, high speed core network.
“We are committed to providing customers with the best network possible by drawing on our strengths in innovation and strong UK heritage. It is great to be able to use yesterday’s infrastructure – from phone boxes to manhole covers – to deliver the services of tomorrow. This is one of the ways we are extending our 4G services to areas other networks cannot reach and getting ready for 5G,” said Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery.
Vodafone says that by connecting manhole covers to its network it can significantly improve its 4G coverage today, while simultaneously preparing the way for 5G rollout, at which point the antennas can be easily converted.
Vodafone also says that the manhole antenna installation will open up a range of smart city initiatives
"These fibre-connected 5G-enabled small antennas are the foundation on which connected smart cities will be built. 5G connectivity will allow connected traffic lights instantly to reroute road traffic around congestion, councils automatically to schedule repairs for broken infrastructure like street lighting, and businesses to manage how much energy they use intelligently," Vodafone said in a statement.