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Press Releases

Lisbon, 22nd May 2019

Vodafone Portugal and Vodafone Spain achieve global innovation in roaming using 5G technology

  • The two companies of the Vodafone Group delivered the first 5G global roaming session in mobility
  • This important milestone was held between Tui and Valença
  • The readiness of Vodafone's 5G network was demonstrated by professional players of ESL competing live across the border
  • The initiative was developed in partnership with Ericsson, the strategic partner of Vodafone Portugal for the development of 5G

Vodafone Portugal and Vodafone Spain have taken another historic step in the development of the fifth mobile generation by holding the world´s first 5G roaming session in mobility. This technological milestone was achieved through a demonstration of mobile gaming over a 5G network, with two professional ESL players facing each other in real time as they crossed the border between Tui, in Spain, and Valença, in Portugal.

Carried out by two companies of the Vodafone Group leaders in the development of the mobile network of the future, and supported by Ericsson´s technological expertise, this unprecedented 5G data session highlighted the effectiveness of Vodafone's mobile network, which maintained the good performance and uninterrupted connection – with very short response times and high speeds – while the players moved between the two countries.

The technological success of this demonstration was also possible thanks to a wide range of best practices and cross-cutting synergies throughout the Vodafone Group, in particular the coordination and parameterization of mobile networks, in this case Portugal and Spain. This configuration allowed the stations of the two countries to 'know each other' and communicate without any interruptions – a practice technically called handover.

This alignment between the companies of the Vodafone Group represents a clear advantage for data sessions in cross-border scenarios, given the technological complexity of this innovation compared to a current 4G roaming connection. Only then will it be possible to multiply 5G data sessions in roaming like the one that happened today between Tui and Valença, fundamental for the future of the autonomous vehicles assisted by the mobile network of the future.

With this demonstration, Vodafone proves, once again, that is well positioned to lead the fifth mobile generation of communication. In the presence of Portuguese Deputy Secretary of State and Communications, Alberto Souto de Miranda, the company anticipated the European Union's intention to create 5G European road corridors so that industry, research centers, academia and other agents can test mobility solutions based on the fifth mobile generation.

The demonstration used eight 5G antennas installed in existing stations in Portugal and Spain. This allowed taking advantage of Vodafone's latest generation 4G network, in line with the 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) specifications closed by Industry for the commercialization of this technology. In addition, Massive MIMO and beam forming technologies were made available for the demo. These are two of the innovations that will support the next generation of mobile communications, providing greater capacity, efficiency and spectral efficiency.