Vodafone UK 5G and Massive MIMO

Introduction

Massive MIMO is a technology where tens or even hundreds of antennas are used alongside technologies like beamforming to give a very large capacity gain to an area. It is most commonly deployed with TDD on high frequencies like 2600MHz. In the case of the installations below, 2600MHz TDD is used (Band 38). Massive MIMO is currently known to be deployed on Vodafone in Manchester, Bristol, Newbury, Glasgow and Cardiff. Huawei AAU5271 are used for the B38 Massive MIMO. Since October 2018, Vodafone UK has been deploying 5G Massive MIMO using Huawei's AAU5613. Ericsson's AIR6488 is used for 5G Massive MIMO in the Ericsson zone.

Vodafone Announces 19 5G locations in 2019

Vodafone UK 2019 5G locations

On March 7th 2019, Vodafone announced a further 12 cities would get 5G in 2019, to add to the 7 already announced. 5G is already live in Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool. Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, Wolverhampton and Vodafone's HQ of Newbury are all on the list

Commercial 5G Launch

On 3rd July 2019, Vodafone launched their commercial 5G service in Glasgow, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol

Vodafone 5G Speed Test from Birmingham by Hamzah Shakeel, @humzashakeel.

Vodafone 5G Speed Test from Birmingham by Hamzah Shakeel, @humzashakeel

5G Masts

Ericsson (London + Vodafone South Mids)

Ericsson is used for 5G RAN (alongside 2G/3G/4G) in London and South zone. Vodafone Smale Ericsson AIR6488 5G.

Vodafone Smale House with Ericsson AIR6488 5G. Vodafone have so far been seen to exclusively use Massive MIMO here.

Vodafone Huawei 5G (West)

Vodafone Manchester 5G (AAU5613) and O2 2300MHz 4G 8T8R (Huawei AOC4518 antennas, alongside other frequencies).

Vodafone Manchester Outskirts 5G site using AAU5613 for 5G and specced for O2 2300MHz 4G 8T8R from the Huawei AOC4518 antennas which also have the usual 2G/3G/4G.

Vodafone Huawei Dual Massive MIMO for 4G+5G at Manchester United

Vodafone dual 4G+5G Massive MIMO using Huawei AAU5271 and AAU5612 at manchester United.

Vodafone dual 4G+5G Massive MIMO using Huawei AAU5271 and AAU5613 at Manchester United. There is one AAU5271 and five AAU5613. Pics by Derico.

Liverpool 5G Massive MIMO

Detailed page about Liverpool's masts, please see Liverpool City Masts

Liverpool Lime Street Station/Lord Nelson Street 5G Massive MIMO

Huawei AAU5613 5G N78 Massive MIMO on Liverpool Lime Street Station

Vodafone UK 5G Massive MIMO with Huawei AAU5613 second from left near Liverpool Lime Street Station.

Vodafone Massive MIMO in Manchester

Detailed page about Manchester's 5G masts, please see Manchester City Masts

Huawei AAU5613 N78 5G Massive MIMO at Stretford Road

Huawei AAU 5613 N78 5G Massive MIMO on Stretford Road

Huawei AAU 5613 N78 5G Massive MIMO and AOC on Stretford Road.

Vodafone Manchester Holyoak Street 5G

Vodafone Holyoak Street 5G

Vodafone Manchester Holyoak Street 5G

Vodafone Mabel Street 5G

Vodafone Mabel Street 5G

Vodafone Mabel Street 5G

Manchester University

2 antennas and 1 Massive MIMO panel on Manchester University

Three Huawei Massive MIMO panels are used on Manchester University although two are visible on these pictures. The GPS antennas used for time sync can be seen also. The site also has 4G on 2600MHz, 2100MHz (15) and 800MHz.

NSG Screenshots of Massive MiMo

In the left image, the Band 38 is operating in TM3, so not in Massive MIMO. This will be because the load is low. In the middle example, TM7 is present and the antenna is operating as Massive MIMO. The Right image shows the performance of the FDD LTE. Manchester Airport also has two Massive MIMO panels to provide capacity to the airport.

Birkenhead's Vodafone 5G

Birkenhead Russell Road

Vodafone 5G Massive MIMO on Russell Road Birkenhead. Complete with Huawei AOC antenna for 2G/3G/4G technolgies including O2's 2300MHz 4G.

Vodafone 5G with Massive MIMO on Russell Road Birkenhead. Complete with Huawei AOC antenna for 2G/3G/4G technolgies including O2's 2300MHz 4G.

Birkenhead Thermal Road

Vodafone 5G Massive MIMO on Thermal Road Birkenhead. Complete with Huawei AOC antenna for 2G/3G/4G technolgies including O2's 2300MHz 4G.

Vodafone 5G with Massive MIMO on Thermal Road, Birkenhead. Complete with Huawei AOC antenna for 2G/3G/4G technolgies including O2's 2300MHz 4G.

Cardiff

Detailed page about Cardiff's masts, please see Cardiff City Masts

Map showing Massive MIMO installations

For Mast maps, please refer to the "Location Mast Galleries" on the main menu