Vodafone 5G network to go live in July
The telecom giant has become the first to confirm a UK switch-on date. The 5G network will launch initially in seven cities in the UK on 3 July for both consumers and businesses.
Vodafone will also offer 5G roaming in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain from the summer.
The cities where the 5G network is due to become available first are:
Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton will follow later this year.
Vodafone UK CEO, Nick Jeffery, said access to the 5G network will mean UK businesses can “lead the world in adopting 5G to boost productivity and attract investment” with consumers getting the “fastest mobile speeds ever”, and the public sector being able to “adopt new services to improve healthcare, social services and housing.”
With faster speeds, low latency – the time it takes to transfer data – and increased capacity, 5G has the potential to help deliver smart transport solutions like connected cars, and act as a catalyst for emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, which have the potential to transform the property industry.
5G will be priced the same as 4G for customers, with the first 5G-capable smartphone going on sale next week and more being released in the summer. The company will also offer a 5G router, using Huawei equipment, for use in the home and office to give customers without a fixed line connection high-speed broadband access.
Vodafone is also creating digital innovation and incubator centres across the UK, to explore how the new generation of mobile technology can be used. The firm is in the process of opening a technology centre at MediaCity in Salford, and has unveiled plans for a major new 5G facility at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, the home of Wasps rugby and netball clubs.