UK's lowest-rated mobile operator Vodafone turns to Germans for 5G lifeline

Vodafone’s plans for 5G mobile connectivity have taken another step forward by signing up Dresden University of Technology as the latest institution to help it develop next generation mobile technologies.

Related: Europe sets sights on taking lead with 5G development

The German university joins the University of Surrey, King’s College London and Carnegie Mellon University in the US to work with the mobile operator on research efforts centred on the new standard.

“While 5G is in very early stages of development, it’s important that we invest the time and effort to really understand the technology,” said Vodafone’s head of research and development Luke Ibbetson, according to CityAM.

5G has the potential to offer speeds that are a thousand times faster than 4G with fibre-optic level data speeds that allow users to download an hour long HD-quality movie in just six seconds.

It only seems like yesterday that 4G was being rolled out by UK networks and even before that began Ofcom warned that 5G networking would be needed in order to avoid a “capacity crunch”.

Prime Minister David Cameron has already announced that the UK and Germany have signed a research partnership to work on 5G that is part of his plan to make the UK the most digital nation in the G8.

To that end the European Commission has already signed an agreement with South Korea to team up to develop the new technology as the Asian country is aggressively working on it with 1.6 trillion won [£900 million] being pumped into the project.

Related: 5G will become “the new lifeblood of the digital economy”

South Korea wants to deliver the first commercial rollout of 5G by the year 2020 and the decade following that is when consumers on these shores can expect to be able to benefit from 5G access on devices.