5G | 28 Jan 2022

How the 5G GigaCube is keeping surgeons and gamers connected

From living rooms to operating theatres, 5G-powered routers like Vodafone’s GigaCube can provide fast and reliable internet connections – a potential lifeline where traditional fixed-line broadband isn’t available or isn't fast enough.

For most people in most places across the UK, home broadband means fibre optic and/or copper cables piping data to and from their houses and flats. While Vodafone is bringing full fibre broadband to millions of homes in hundreds of locations across the country, for now some places are struggling with broadband that’s not fast enough for their needs.

That’s where the GigaCube and Vodafone’s 5G and 4G network come in.

The GigaCube is a WiFi router that uses 5G and 4G, instead of a fixed line from your local telephone exchange, to provide you with internet access. If you can get strong mobile signal inside your house or flat, then a GigaCube could be what you’re after.

As the GigaCube uses Vodafone’s mobile network, its usefulness isn’t just limited to homes. Just ask Professor Shafi Ahmed, a world-renowned cancer surgeon. Prof Ahmed has been using a GigaCube in hospitals, such as the Royal London Hospital, to help train the next generation of laparoscopic surgeons since the summer of 2021.

image of Professor Shafi Ahmed instructing surgical trainees
Professor Shafi Ahmed instructing surgical trainees using footage live streamed through a Vodafone 5G GigaCube.

“During the pandemic it was more difficult for trainees to be in the [operating] theatre, so we thought we’d use smart glasses to train people remotely,” Prof Ahmed told Vodafone UK News.

An instructor in the operating theatre wears specialist medical smart glasses from tech company Rods and Cones. Everything they see and say is streamed in real-time through the GigaCube to a TV screen in another room. There, the post-graduate trainees can not only see what is happening, but ask questions through a moderator as well as capture images and video.

“The GigaCube played a fundamental role – actually without it, we couldn’t have done it. Picture quality was excellent. There wasn’t any lag, delays or freezing. It was just simple and effortless,” said Prof Ahmed.

illustrative image of the Vodafone 5G GigaCube
The latest 5G GigaCube from Vodafone.

The GigaCube is perfectly at home for more everyday tasks. too, says Steven Levitt, a business development manager in Stoke-on-Trent.

“I get speeds close to 100Mbps most days. I’m in a new build and unfortunately no fibre was installed here, so my only option was to try 5G. Without the 5G GigaCube, I wouldn’t have been able to work at home through the pandemic.”

An avid PC gamer, Steven was also able to use his 5G GigaCube to livestream his gaming sessions on Twitch.

While it’s possible to turn your smartphone into a hotspot and share its internet connection with your other devices, this won’t always be convenient – especially if you don’t want your phone held hostage to the online needs of a busy household.

It may also be tempting to consider a battery-powered 5G router such as the 5G Mobile Hotspot. But it’s likely you’ll get better wireless range from the GigaCube and its larger, more powerful antennas.

Check Vodafone mobile coverage in your area, and learn more about the available GigaCube plans, on the Vodafone UK website.

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