Vodaphone announced this week that Manchester will be Britain’s first airport the company connects to 5G wireless technology, saying others will follow later this year.
On its website, see below, UK-based telecom giant Vodaphone announced the Manchester plan and promised to “bring 5G to more major airports and railway stations within a year”.
18 Feb 2019
Vodafone has switched on 5G at Manchester Airport, with other travel locations set to follow suit within weeks. In a UK first, holidaymakers and travellers getting ready for the half-term getaway tested the new, super-fast network by downloading a film or TV box set using 5G. The testers downloaded content up to four times quicker than over 4G – providing them with more than enough entertainment for their flight.
Manchester Airport is the first of several travel hot spots where Vodafone is trialling 5G. Vodafone 5G masts are now in place at the airport, forming part of the 5G trials taking place across the city. Further trials over the coming weeks will include Snow Hill railway station in Birmingham.
Previous trial involving harmful radiation
Back in 2012, Manchester tested X-ray machines on its air passengers over a three-year period as an experiment involving security.
But the airport abandoned these trials and replaced the body scanners due to receiving no final decision from the European Commission – possibly because of a health & safety investigation being conducted around that time.
17 Sept 2012
The EC had stopped trials of the scanners last November while concerns they could emit harmful levels of radiation were investigated. However, Manchester Airport continued to use them as it was an existing trial.
Unlike the body scanners, the new “privacy-friendly” scanners will not need a member of security in a remote room to check the images.
But this is 2019
Since that 2012 BBC report safety concerns have surfaced repeatedly over the use of high-powered body scanners.
For example, Department of Homeland Security employees in the US reported serious ill-health issues (including deaths) as a result of working close to the technology every day.
But this is 2019 and new ways to irradiate airport employees and passengers, this time with 5G, have arrived.
The Vodaphone story represents just one aspect of a wider UK initiative that is itself part of a massive biological experiment due this year to roll out right across the world.