Vodafone Spain has made the first data call in Europe to a commercial smartphone using a 5G standalone (SA) network, as the first step to the progressive and selective deployment in business and industrial environments of 5G SA networks.
This connection has been successfully made between the Vodafone 5G Spain SA pilot network and the innovative Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, which will be launched next month. The 5G SA functionality is expected to be commercially available on the smartphone later.
The 3GPP 5G SA standard, on which the pilot was made, represents an evolution of the 5G non-Standalone (NSA) and will improve efficiency and performance. In Spain, Vodafone has been the first operator to launch 5G, and already has a 5G NSA commercial network in 17 cities, with speeds of up to 2Gbps.
The pilots have used a core 5G SA provided by Huawei showing several benefits and future applications for customers.
In these pilots it is the first time in Europe that an operator uses a mixed ecosystem with different suppliers. Vodafone has used the 5G SA network to test an “assisted work” application with augmented reality “Manifest” - provided by the developer Taqtile and that takes advantage of the Edge Computing services provided by Microsoft Azure-. This application shows how in the future airline personnel will be able to quickly inspect a landing gear before takeoff using their smartphone to verify that all items are ready.
Pioneers in 5G technology
This milestone confirms Vodafone Spain's leadership in 5G mobile technology, following the first connection of 5G NSA smartphones to the operator's network in February 2019 and the subsequent launch in June 2019 of Vodafone's 5G commercial services in 15 cities ( Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastián, La Coruña, Vigo, Gijón, Pamplona, Logroño and Santander) with coverage for more than 50% of the population, among other landmarks. In recent weeks Vodafone has also deployed 5G network in the cities of Benidorm and Badajoz.
Previously, in February 2018, Vodafone Spain made the first world video call with the 5G NSA standard between Madrid and Castelldefels (Barcelona) and deployed 5G pre-commercial NSA in the six largest cities during 2018.
Currently, Vodafone Spain is currently developing 32 5G NSA and SA pilots in Andalusia, as well as pilots in Galicia and other communities in collaboration with companies and public administrations in order to test the practical applications of the new network that will facilitate a new service generation in multiple sectors and industries.