Vodafone wants to provide manhole covers in the United Kingdom with 4G and 5G antennas

Vodafone plans to equip thousands of manhole covers in the UK with antennas for 4G and 5G networks. The aim is to increase the speeds of the mobile networks in busy urban areas.

According to Vodafone, placing 4g antennas at the bottom of the manhole covers will provide better 4g coverage and the covers will be easy to adapt for 5g in the future. According to the British provider, installing the antennas hardly causes any disturbance to people in the area; it does not require large-scale work and the antennas are underground.

It concerns two types of manhole covers, of which Vodafone has already installed two at the head office in Newbury. It concerns a manhole cover that was specially built for the installation of antennas and an existing, old variant that is already in use throughout the United Kingdom. Vodafone reports that both manhole covers allow calls and fast internet up to 200 meters away, without requiring much power.

Vodafone has partnered with Ericsson to develop these manhole covers, according to the Financial Times, and the system is internally referred to as The Vault. For now, this system will probably only be deployed in the UK by Vodafone; this is related to the earlier acquisition of the British telecommunications company Cable & Wireless Worldwide. There are quite a few manhole covers in the UK with the Cable & Wireless brand name.