UK MOBILE OPERATOR Vodafone has switched on its 5G network, just weeks after EE became the first to go live.
At an event in London on Wednesday, Vodafone announced that its 5G network, which promises average speeds of 150-200Mbps compared to 23-35Mbps on 4G, is available now in seven cities across Blighty: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London
Voda says it plans to connect 12 more cities - Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent - before the year is out.
In what the operator is touting as a "worldwide first", the operator has also announced that it will offer 5G roaming in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain over the summer.
Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery swooned: "We can today announce the largest launch of 5G in the UK and be the first to announce 5G roaming.
"It means that UK businesses can lead the world in adopting 5G to boost productivity and attract investment. It means consumers can get the fastest mobile speeds ever, and it means that our public sector will be able to adopt new services to improve healthcare, social services and housing."
To start with, Vodafone will be offering 5G plans with two handsets: the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G. The firm also said earlier this year that it'll be ranging the Huawei's Mate 20 X 5G and Huawei's foldable Mate X, but it's unclear if this will still go ahead.
The network will also offer a 5G home router later in the year, dubbed the '5G Gigacube'.
In terms of pricing, the network will offer three so-called 'unlimited' plans that are based on speeds rather than the amount of data you guzzle. The £23 'Unlimited Lite' plan will offer max speeds of 2Mbps, while a £26 'Unlimited' tariff will top-out at 10Mbps. For £30, Vodafone is offering an ‘Unlimited Max' plan that offers, er, the "fastest speeds."
Three looks set to follow Vodafone with the rollout of its first5G plans next month, while O2's 5G services will become available before the year is out.
Vodafone is announcing more details about its 5G network as we speak, so we'll update this article as we hear more. µ
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