Vodafone makes first holographic 5G call ahead of UK trial

The company used its 5G trial launch to show off what the superfast connection is capable of

5G antenna

Vodafone has successfully conducted the first ever holographic phone call using the 5G network it's hoping to start rolling out as a trial in five UK cities next month.

During the call, attendees at Vodafone's launch event in Newbury spoke to England and Manchester City Women's Football Captain, Steph Houghton MBE who was at the company's office in Manchester. The big-screen call involved Houghton appearing as a hologram, almost as though she was in the same building.

Although Vodafone probably won't be offering holographic phonecalls as part of its 5G launch offering, it demonstrated what its 5G network is capable of, with Vodafone explaining it could potentially be used for "remote robotic surgery and 4K gaming on the move".

Seven cities will be taking part in the trials starting next month, including Manchester and Birmingham, with more places including Cornwall and the Lake District trialling the technology just in time for the summer holidays in 2019.

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"Vodafone has a history of firsts in UK telecoms  we made the nation's first mobile phone call, sent the first text and now we've conducted the UK's first holographic call using 5G," Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said. "We also lead the industry in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, with the world's largest dedicated global IoT network.

"The initiatives we've launched today are designed to ensure that everyone can benefit from the digital technologies transforming how we live and work. From our customers and employees, to university students, digital entrepreneurs and businesses, we want to help people across the UK get ready for a digital future."

Vodafone also revealed other schemes it expects to launch for businesses shortly, such as an intelligent mobile tariff that will automatically switch business users to the most cost-effective best for their usage and a mobile Wi-Fi device that provides superfast mobile connectivity for up to 20 people.

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