Vodafone UK: showcases next phase of 5G technology
Since launching 5G in the UK one year ago, Vodafone has become one of the first operators in the UK to showcase the next phase of 5G technology by building a new network for Coventry University.
By harnessing ‘Standalone’ 5G technology, the network will be used to show the true benefits of 5G, which Vodafone states are ultra-low latency, guaranteed speed performance, and the internet of things (IoT) on a ‘never before seen’ scale.
“This is a landmark in our 5G journey – just one year on from launch. 5G today is all about capacity and increased speeds. It’s giving people the best mobile experience ever, but it’s 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,” commented Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer, Scott Petty.
“This new phase of 5G starts to deliver on the incredible capabilities of 5G that have had so much attention, but haven’t yet been brought to life. From here, we will really start to see 5G make a difference to the way organisations think about being connected, and what’s possible with connectivity in the future.”
The future of teaching
Recognised for its innovation and excellence in digital teaching, Coventry University will be harnessing the 5G network as part of its vision to be the leading university for 5G enabled technology. The network will help the university to trial ‘state of the art’ virtual reality learning technologies to train student nurses and allied health professionals.
“We are delighted to be working with Vodafone to house the UK’s first standalone 5G network. This will help us continue to change and enhance the way students learn,” commented Professor John Latham CBE, Coventry University Vice-Chancellor.
“Being the first university in the UK to have this next phase of 5G technology is the first step on our journey to creating a 5G campus, and we will soon be able to reveal how we will use this technology to maximise the potential of virtual reality teaching for our Health and Life Sciences students.”
In further support of the University’s v5G vision, Vodafone has installed Ericsson’s 5G Radio Dot System within the university’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab and National Transport Design Centre. The technology will provide fast, high capacity 5G in key buildings at the university to support innovative teaching and learning.
To deliver this ‘Standalone’ 5G network and develop a roadmap for future breakthroughs, Vodafone has partnered with Ericsson, MediaTek, OPPO and Qualcomm who are leaders in cutting edge 5G development.
The next phase of 5G
Vodafone details that currently when a customer connects to 5G, they are using a mic of 4G and 5G combined, its main benefits are more network capacity, faster speed and a more reliable connection.
This second phase of 5G developed by Vodafone is 100% independent from 4G - it is ‘Standalone’. As a result this opens up possibilities to revolutionise how consumers and businesses connect.
Technology features of the new network will include:
- Network slicing
- Edge computing
- Ultra reliable and low latency communications
Image source: Vodafone
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”