Vodafone (LON:VOD) is set to trial 5G in seven cities across the UK, the blue-chip telco has said. The news comes after the company secured spectrum for 5G services earlier this year.
Vodafone’s share price has fallen into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.61 percent to 185.10p as of 14:47 BST. The decline is largely in line with losses in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.67 percent lower at 7,575.64 points. The group’s shares have given up just under 17 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a near two-percent rise in the Footsie.
Vodafone to start 5G trials
Vodafone announced in a statement yesterday that it would trial 5G services in seven cities across the UK, with roll-outs starting between October and December this year. The service will be tested at more than 40 sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester. The blue-chip telco expects to commercially launch 5G in early 2020.
“We want to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and business throughout the UK, delivering a Gigabit society for all,” Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery commented in the statement.
Today’s news came after the group acquired 50 MHz of spectrum in the 3400 MHz band for mobile data services in industry regulator Ofcom’s auction for £378.2 million in April this year.
Analysts on blue-chip telco
Deutsche Bank, which sees Vodafone as a ‘buy,’ lowered its price target on the telco from 285p to 280p this week, while earlier this month, Credit Suisse, which the telco as an ‘outperform,’ trimmed its valuation on the shares from 250p to 235p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 243.89p.