Gatwick Airport 5G has gone live at the airport’s South Terminal after Vodafone completed the installation of hundreds of kilometres of fibre.
Travellers using Gatwick’s North Terminal will have access to the mobile network early next year, as will retail and food and drink businesses at the airport.
About 24,000 people work at the airport complex, and more than 46 million people travel through it every year.
Processes at the airport are currently being digitised to create what Gatwick management describes as a “smart airport” as part of its five-year investment programme. Projects include a trial of robotic parking and automated check-in and boarding. The availability of the 5G network will help to support this by improving network response times and capacity.
John Barton, CIO at Gatwick Airport, said: “5G has the potential to unlock a wide range of new capabilities and to reliably connect everything around us to a network many times faster than those it replaces.
“Many of the 250 companies operating on the Gatwick campus can also benefit from this super-fast 5G service, including those that rely heavily on mobile applications for their day-to-day business.”
Separately, Vodafone last year pledged to launch its 5G service in rural areas at the same time as its urban 5G network. In July, as part of this strategy, it switched on a 5G network on the Isles of Scilly and launched its live consumer 5G service in London.