Vodafone has formed a partnership with Dresden University of Technology to research and develop 5G technology, while the group's UK arm has extended its rural connectivity program.
The operator will work with academics, developers and technology companies to explore the capabilities of 5G, which is forecast to “radically enhance” the speed, capacity and intelligence of mobile networks.
For the partnership, the university has opened its first 5G lab, where researchers can test next-generation technologies including network hardware and software, computer chips, spectrum and cloud computing.
Researchers will also work out technical guidelines for the deployment of the service.
Luke Ibbetson, Head of R&D at Vodafone, said: “Vodafone is proud to be taking a leadership role in the development of the next generation of wireless communications. While 5G is in very early stages of development it’s important that we invest the time and effort to really understand the technology.
“There are several years of research ahead of us and Vodafone looks forward to working closely with Dresden and its other partners around the world to build a technical foundation for the next generation of mobile communications.”
Meanwhile, Vodafone also announced an partnership with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Countryside Alliance to encourage more communities to apply to its Rural Open Sure programme.
The operator is hoping to encourage more small communities in rural locations to apply for its “open femo” technology, which connects to existing broadband services to bring Vodafone’s 3G mobile network to the area.
The programme is part of Vodafone’s £1 billion (€1.2 billion) investment in expanding its UK network.