A year after its 5G launch, Vodafone is showcasing the first instance of a ‘standalone’ network. Until now, 5G was only available on mixed 5G/4G networks.
The standalone network currently only exists at Coventry University and provides several benefits to that of the older networks. Such bonuses include lower latency, reliable higher speeds, and improvements to the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT is the ever-increasing selection of internet-connected devices, and will pave the way for what many industry specialists have dubbed ‘Industry 4.0.’ Industry 4.0 will be characterized by entirely automated, sensor-driven factories, in which 5G will be crucial.
Another benefit of a standalone network is that certain pieces can be supplied to fill specific roles with a certain guarantee of performance.
Known as network slicing, it allows multiple virtual networks to be created atop of shared physical infrastructure, allowing for resources to be allocated smartly.
Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said that the ‘landmark’ is “only the tip of the iceberg of what 5G can do. With this new live network, we’re demonstrating the future potential of 5G and how it will be so valuable to the UK economy.”
Although small, the standalone network is a harbinger of what is to come next.
According to a worldwide survey of 41 mobile operators from March, 37 percent of mobile operators say they will begin deploying 5G standalone within the next two years.
In April, Vodafone told news outlets of frequent attacks to their masts in retaliation for the perceived threat of 5G.
At the time, Vodafone CEO Nick Jeffrey pleaded with the public for the attacks to stop, stating that they were a “matter of national security.”