Recently, Vodafone revealed its plans for 5G networks trials in the UK and to kick things off, literally, it employed the services of Manchester City and England Women's captain Steph Houghton.
She took part in the very first holographic training session performed over a 5G connection, and spoke to Pocket-lint about the experience afterwards.
Young fan, 11-year-old Iris, got the chance to for a one-to-one with Houghton, even though she was based in Newbury while the England star remained in Manchester.
The entire session was transmitted over a Vodafone 5G connection, proving the game changer the next generation data tech will prove to be.
Houghton certainly agreed: "Personally for me, I’m so excited to see this type of technology bringing us all closer together," she told us.
"The virtual one-to-one with a young fan that we trialled today was so exciting for both of us. It’s so important for fans to feel involved in the sports they love, so getting the chance to engage with Iris in this way was great."
Faster data speeds are going to be important for growing support for her sport too: "I really hope that 5G will help in bringing fans from all over the world closer to the sports they love," said Houghton.
"Of course, people can’t always make it in person to matches, so it’s amazing that we now have technology that can allow you to watch in real time, as if you’re at the game."
They will also help her personally, when on the road: "During busy periods in the season or if I’m on the move, I often don’t have much downtime and so when I get the chance to catch up with everything, it’s helpful for it to be stress-free and speedy. So it’s really a case of the faster the better when it comes to data," she explained.
"I couldn’t be without my phone. It’s my connection to friends and family while I’m travelling for matches – which can be really hectic and often takes me all over the world. When I get a moment, I use my phone to connect with those who mean the most to me – whether that’s a quick call or video calling from afar."
Vodafone's 5G trials will first take place in seven UK cities, including Houghton's own Manchester and Birmingham. So she'll get the chance to use it fairly soon.
The network also confirmed that it will roll out 5G to popular holiday destinations in the UK in 2019. Cornwall and the Lake District have so far been mentioned.
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