Vodafone has demonstrated the UK's first 'holographic' call to illustrate the potential of 5G mobile technology, as its plans for the rollout of the technology continue to take shape.
The call took place from the company's Manchester office, from where England and Manchester City women's football captain Steph Houghton was beamed as a live 3D hologram to appear on stage at Vodafone's UK headquarters in Newbury.
Houghton used the call to give some footballing tips to 11-year-old fan Iris in Newbury, while Vodafone said the call highlighted some of the "exciting possibilities" that new 5G technology could bring to sport, such as remote coaching and training, as well as helping bring fans closer to their favourite players.
Other areas that stand to benefit from 5G include applications as diverse as remote robotic surgery and 4K gaming on the move, which Vodafone said will all be made possible thanks to the speed and capacity of the technology.
Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery said: "Vodafone has a history of firsts in UK telecoms – we made the nation’s first mobile phone call, sent the first text and now we’ve conducted the UK’s first holographic call using 5G."
At the event, the mobile provider also offered more details about how it plans to introduce 5G technology to the UK. It revealed that it is aiming to have 1,000 5G sites live around the country by 2020, while Cornwall and the Lake District will be among the first places in the UK to receive 5G services next year.
Vodafone also unveiled a range of new initiatives, including UK’s first self-optimising tariff, which automatically moves business customers to the most cost-effective tariff for them, which it also confirmed a £700 million investment this year on developing a converged mobile and fixed-line network.
"The initiatives we've launched today are designed to ensure that everyone can benefit from the digital technologies transforming how we live and work," Mr Jeffery said. "From our customers and employees, to university students, digital entrepreneurs and businesses, we want to help people across the UK get ready for a digital future."