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Building a Gigabit network

Through our Gigabit networks we believe we can build a digital society that helps improve people’s lives.

We believe in a connected digital society that helps improve people’s lives, where data flows at speed, connecting people, communities and things to the internet like never before. With our next-generation networks, citizens will access an ever-growing range of services in real-time and businesses can develop new products and services to meet the needs of future generations.

Digital services, like the ones we provide, are quickly becoming the new engines of growth in the global race for economic prosperity and sustainable development. For example in Africa, the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development estimates that expanding broadband by 10% would yield a 2.5% increase in GDP per capita. Also, it has been estimated that 84% of all IoT applications support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Connectivity, communications services and digital solutions have become even more crucial during the COVID-19 crisis. They have become a lifeline for many citizens, companies and public authorities. In some markets, fixed broadband usage increased by more than 50%, as people work and study from home to an unprecedented degree. Around a fifth of the world’s internet traffic travels across Vodafone networks. Our core focus has been on maintaining the quality of service and our five-point plan to support societies and assist governments in their response has guided all of our actions.

Our 2025 goal

We are investing significantly in our modern network infrastructure and coverage to deliver a high-quality service that allows individuals and businesses to connect confidently anywhere and at any time.

Benefits that high-speed internet (such as 5G) can have for the economy include productivity gains, such as faster download times and the ability to work in transit; increased consumer value by enabling innovative apps and services; and reduced carbon emissions, through supporting the large-scale deployment of IoT technologies across sectors.

How we are building a Gigabit network

We support our customers, both individuals and businesses, to realise these benefits. We are future-proofing our fixed line infrastructure by upgrading our cable network to the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology and deploying fibre deep into the network.

Our fixed Gigabit networks will deliver a significant improvement in the maximum user speeds and network capacity; speeds of 30Mbps will directly improve the lives of millions of people. We are now Europe’s largest fixed next-generation network provider by footprint, with 25 million broadband customers and 136 million marketable households in Europe.

This year, 144 million customers were connected to our next-generation networks1. Our networks also support a wide variety of solutions to meet society’s needs. We’re working with businesses of all sizes to make the digital society a reality.

From ensuring millions of employees across the world can work effectively from home during the COVID-19 crisis, to designing new IoT-connected products with and for our customers, we’re committed to helping everyone get the best from technology.

In healthcare, for example, 5G will be a real driver of innovation, helping improve staff efficiency while also improving patient care. Through our connectivity, we can enable remote surgery, rehabilitation robotics and wearable sensors, to name just a few.

Digital ItemTypical sizeADSL copper networkGigabit Network FTTH
Average Kindle eBook2.6 megabytes1 second21 milliseconds
CT scan2 gigabytes14 minutes18 seconds
Virtual Reality Game5 gigabytes34 minutes42 seconds
Blu-ray movie25 gigabytes2.8 hours3 minutes
4K movie100 gigabytes11 hours13 minutes

4G/ 5G Mobile Gigabit Networks

Today 92% of our European data sessions are at high definition standard and we have the lowest call drop rate in Europe at 0.34%. In the future we will continue to evolve our 4G networks towards delivering gigabit data speeds, increased network capacity, improved response (latency) times and new service capabilities.

Gigabit Hubs generate economic growth in Ireland

According to new data from research conducted this year, Vodafone has helped generate €27.4 million of local economic contribution in Ireland through the creation of six Gigabit Hubs in remote communities, which in turn have helped create hundreds of jobs and businesses.

Tackling loneliness with tech

In 2019, Vodafone UK launched a new report focused on how technology can be harnessed to tackle loneliness in people over 50 and also highlights that a significant number of older people are not confident using technology. 

Our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG 9

Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.

SDG 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Our continued commitment to make investments in our network infrastructure, coverage and quality particularly support SDG 9, which includes a focus on significantly increasing access to information and communications technology.

We believe we can have the greatest impact on five of the UN SDGs through our networks, products and services and through the work of the Vodafone Foundation.

Find out more about our contribution to the UN SDGs

Learn more about digital society

Enabling vehicles to become smarter

We are helping create more efficient, safer and smarter transport for people, communities and businesses.

Supporting financial inclusion

We are committed to supporting financial inclusion through our products and services.

Download our Annual Report 2020

which provides detail on our sustainable business strategy, approach, focus areas and progress