Manchester Airport becomes UK’s first 5G connected airport

Posted: 20 February 2019 | | No comments yet

Manchester Airport has had its 5G capabilities switched on by Vodafone, with other travel locations set to follow suit in the coming weeks.


In a UK first, passengers travelling through Manchester tested the new, super-fast network by downloading a film or TV box set using 5G. The participants 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 hotspots 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.

Passengers at Manchester’s Terminal One visited Vodafone’s special 5G ‘blast pod’ and were given a free Entertainment Pass on streaming service NOW TV. Airport users could download an episode of the new series of Tin Star in 45 seconds and the whole series in six minutes and seven seconds – using 4G, would have taken 26 minutes and eight seconds, which allowed a home Wi-Fi like experience, on the go.

5G will enable passengers to load a web page or a video instantly and, due to super low latency, people will be able to seamlessly stream a movie over 5G without buffering or lag.

Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK, said: “We all love to catch up on our favourite TV shows, play games or finish off some work when travelling. 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, 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 £1 billion 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.”

With faster speeds, low latency and increased capacity, 5G has the potential to revolutionise our day-to-day lives by enabling smart airports and roads, as well as better connected cars, businesses and homes. It will act as a catalyst for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and connected cities.

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