Vodafone has switched on 5G at Manchester Airport, with other travel locations set to follow suit within weeks.
In a UK first, holidaymakers and travellers getting ready for the half-term getaway tested the new, super-fast network by downloading a film or TV box set using 5G.
The testers downloaded content up to four times quicker than over 4G – providing them with more than enough entertainment for their flight.
Manchester Airport is the first of several travel hot spots where Vodafone is trialling 5G. Vodafone 5G masts are now in place at the airport, forming part of the 5G trials taking place across the city. Further trials over the coming weeks will include Snow Hill railway station in Birmingham.
Passengers at Manchester’s Terminal One visited Vodafone’s special 5G ‘blast pod’ and found they could download an episode of the new series of Tin Star in 45 seconds and the whole series in six minutes and seven seconds – up to four times faster than over 4G, which took 26 minutes and eight seconds.
5G will also enable holidaymakers and business travellers to load a web page or a video instantly and, thanks to super low latency, people will be able to seamlessly stream a movie over 5G without buffering or lag.
“We all love to catch up on our favourite TV shows, play games or finish off some work when travelling,” said Nick Jeffery, CEO at Vodafone UK.
“5G, with its fast speeds and quick response times, will make that quick and easy, even in busy locations.
“We are proud to be the first provider to bring 5G to an airport and will be adding more major travel hotspots to our 5G network throughout the year.”
Brad Miller, chief operating officer at Manchester Airport, said: “We are delighted to support Vodafone’s 5G trial at Manchester Airport.
“As we progress with the design and delivery of our £1bn transformation programme, we are constantly exploring how new innovations and technology can be applied to improve the airport experience.
“As a business with a strong presence in our surrounding community, Vodafone was a natural partner for a trial project like this and we look forward to collaborating with them again in the future.”
As 5G handsets are not yet available for consumers, Vodafone completed the trial using its ‘Gigacube’ device – a portable router that is 5G enabled.