The UK is set to get the 5G mobile networks in July. Mobile operator Vodafone has confirmed that 5G will be available for all its users from July 3. Initially, the 5G networks will be rolled out in five cities—Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. If you are thinking about how much the 5G option will impact your monthly mobile bill, worry not, because Vodafone has confirmed that the 5G connectivity will be available to existing 4G users at the same prices. Just with potentially much faster data connectivity speeds.
“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,” said Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK, in an official statement. Vodafone also confirms that the cities of Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton will have 5G networks later this year.
But what do you need to get connected with the 5G mobile networks? Chances are, your existing phone, feature phone or smartphone, will not be able to access 5G. That is because most phones do not have the necessary 5G hardware required to connect with the next generation of mobile networks. At the moment, there are not many phones which support 5G either. There is the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G which Vodafone says they will offer to customers later this month. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Huawei Mate 20 X (5G) will also be available for pre-order before the end of this month. Vodafone UK also confirms that the Huawei Mate X (5G) will also go on sale later this summer.
Incidentally, Vodafone will also roll out the 5G networks in Germany, Italy and Spain over the next few weeks.
There has been a lot of conversation about the next generation mobile networks for a while now, and we are finally seeing the earnest implementation of 5G networks. These networks are already rolling out in South Korea, US, Japan and Australia, but expect these to increase at a much quicker pace now that more and more 5G enabled phones are becoming available for consumers. In India, the government has set a target for the launch of 5G networks in the year 2020, but the spectrum allocation is yet to be done and trials are yet to begin.