In what it claims is a first for the UK, mobile network operator (MNO) Vodafone UK has announced the switch-on of its 5G Standalone (5G SA) network, confirming that ‘select customers’ are now able to trial the benefits offered by the technology.

In a press release regarding the development, the MNO noted that selected customers who have Oppo Find X3/X5 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S21/S22 handsets and are on one of its ‘Unlimited Max’ plans will be contacted via SMS to take part in the trial. Initially the rollout will take place in seven locations – London, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Bath, Glasgow and Birmingham – while there will reportedly be no additional charges levied on those subscribers that participate in it.

Meanwhile, Vodafone UK has also said that it plans to trial network steering, a technology that allows the network to direct a device automatically towards the right connectivity (4G, 5G non-standalone [5G NSA] or 5G SA), depending on what services are being used. According to the cellco, network steering will improve the efficiency of its network, providing a better experience for all customers.

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