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(Pocket-lint) - After successfully hosting a live holographic chat session over 5G, Vodafone has now switched on its major 5G trial in Greater Manchester.

The site in Salford is the first in the UK to ditch 4G entirely and carry customer data from internet to phone using a 5G network entirely.

Of course, those in the area won't necessarily notice improvements to their services as their phones will still be limited by 4G connectivity, but the network itself uses 5G bandwidth only.

A previous EE 5G trial in London used part of its 4G network too.

Vodafone's 5G trials will extend to other cities in the UK soon. It will roll out what it calls "full 5G" to Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and London. In 2019, Vodafone also plans to switch on 5G in the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall and the Lake District.

Other areas will then follow.

5G handsets will start to become readily available from early next year. The newly-announced Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is 5G-ready and will be compatible with the services when they are rolled out fully.

OnePlus is also working on a 5G handset, thought to be the OnePlus 7, which is likely to launch in the first half of 2019.

Writing by Rik Henderson.