Vodafone UK switched-on what it claimed was the first live standalone (SA) 5G deployment in the country, with a university campus facility set to showcase a range of uses for the advanced technology.

The network in Coventry University will initially provide educational facilities using VR for student nurses and others training in the healthcare sector.

Vodafone noted it would be used to show the “true benefits of 5G” covering low latency, higher speed and new IoT use cases. The move comes a year after the operator launched commercial 5G  based on non-standalone (NSA) network technology.

NSA 5G uses a 5G Radio Access Network but a 4G core network, while SA 5G uses both 5G core and radio networks.

CTO Scott Petty (pictured) said: “This new phase of 5G starts to deliver on the incredible capabilities of 5G that have had so much attention, but haven’t yet been brought to life. From here, we will really start to see 5G make a difference to the way organisations think about being connected, and what’s possible with connectivity in the future.”

SA 5G is being backed by many operators across the world as the upgrade which will bring about many of the potentially lucrative business cases for the new network technology.

At the GSMA Thrive China event this week, experts from NTT Docomo and China Telecom detailed opportunities around virtualisation and AI brought about by the latest iteration of 5G.