The 5G revolution has been touted for years now, with plenty of large tech companies hedging their bets on the upcoming mobile networking standard. Devices with 5G support are starting to arrive for consumers this year and soon, carriers will be making their networks live. Here in the UK, Vodafone will be the first to the punch, with its 5G rollout set to begin in July.
This week, Vodafone confirmed that it plans to make its 5G network live on the 3rd of July. The network will start off with availability in seven cities across the country. The first 5G phone plans will be announced next week but apparently, Vodafone will be aiming to keep prices the same as 4G.
Vodafone’s 5G network will be available in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. Over the course of 2019, the network will spread outwards to include Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.
Device support is going to be limited initially as smartphone makers have yet to widely adopt 5G modems. The Galaxy S10 5G edition will be releasing soon and will likely be the most popular option for the foreseeable future. Apple is reportedly not planning on upgrading to 5G until 2020, likely in order to give networks a chance to increase availability.
Of course, smartphones aren’t the only 5G capable devices slated to arrive. Laptops and tablets will also be arriving with 5G modems baked in as part of an industry-wide push.
KitGuru Says: Vodafone will be the first, but I expect EE and other competitors to not be too far behind. Now all we have to do is wait for device support to ramp up and see how much of an upgrade 5G really is.