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Vodafone switches on its 5G network at Gatwick Airport

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Vodafone switches on its 5G network at Gatwick Airport

​The south terminal of Gatwick Airport is now ‘5G ready’ according to Vodafone, as the gradual roll-out of 5G across the UK continues.

Whether or not the ability to download stuff a bit quicker in ne part of one UK airport is enough to persuade punters to buy a Vodafone 5G subscription is up for debate, but you have to start somewhere. The Vodafone press release is heavy on the standard rhetoric around network upgrades, with gushing talk of downloading every move ever made in a nanosecond, so the company is clearly viewing this as a marketing opportunity.

“We are delighted to support Gatwick Airport’s ambition to become one of the world’s leading smart airports with our investment in 5G,” said Vodafone UK CTO Scott Petty. “The installation of hundreds of kilometres of fibre at the airport will enable us to offer great coverage to the millions of people who use Gatwick Airport each year, as well as to connect its systems and vehicles on site. For example, by connecting mobility carts, airport staff will know where they are at all times, meaning they are better able to help passengers who need support.”

John Barton, Chief Information Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “We are delighted to announce yet another world-class facility at Gatwick with Vodafone’s new 5G network now available in the South Terminal,” said John Barton Gatwick Airport CIO. “Passengers using the network will benefit from super fast speeds when surfing the web and downloading files, or even box sets to provide video entertainment during one of the many long haul flights that depart from the airport.

“5G also has the potential to unlock a wide range of new capabilities and to reliably connect everything around us to a network many times faster than those it replaces. Many of the 250 companies based on the Gatwick campus can also benefit from this super fast 5G service, including those that rely heavily on mobile applications for their day to day business.”

That’s it really. As you can see from the canned quotes the emphasis is entirely on the enhanced mobile broadband side of things, which is unlikely to excite too many people with a decent 4G service. More exciting to users of the airport might be a public wifi service that isn’t such a nightmare to log into that you’re reduced to actually talking to people instead.