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Communication & Networks

Beam me up, Vodafone!

Above all, the mobile telephone company wants to provide a significantly faster Internet service to its rural customers: to do this, Vodafone is using special technology to beam the 5G signal to the router.

28 May. 2018 Roland Freist
Source: Vodafone
Source: Vodafone

Vodafone wants to offer a solution in areas with slow or even a lack of DSL and cable connections with its 5G Beamforming . For this purpose, the company, together with the Swedish network equipment supplier Ericsson, has activated the 5G beam technology in several locations. 128 tiny antennas arranged in a special pattern work with each other; their radio signals are emitted with a slight delay via an intelligent control software. In this way, the system constantly determines the optimal air interface for data transmission and can also serve multiple receivers. Uploading and downloading should be noticeably faster. Vodafone installed the first 5G beam in Langenhain, Hesse.

On the customer side, Vodafone's LTE Gigacube router is being used. With the beamforming technology, the devices connected to the Internet via the Gigacube should be able to use the full LTE speed which is currently a maximum of 300 Mbit/s per user. However, there are limitations to the capacity of the base stations that are usually connected either by fiber optics or radio relays. At the beginning of May, Vodafone had increased its non-restricted, monthly data volume from 50 GB to 200 GB for Gigacube owners.

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