Following EE's 5G network switch-on on 30 May, Vodafone activated 5G connectivity in seven UK cities on 3 July. It has since added a further seven cities to that list, planning to offer 5G in 19 UK cities by the end of the year.
The 5G network is currently available in Birkenhead, Bolton, Gatwick, Lancaster, Newbury, Plymouth, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton, in addition to Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London.
By the end of 2019 we will also see Vodafone 5G in Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton and Warrington. It has also confirmed 5G will be available in the Isles of Scilly.
You can check whether your area is covered using its online postcode checker.
The Vodafone 5G network is also live in 55 European countries, enabling 5G roaming for customers in selected areas.
To benefit from the faster speeds of 5G in any of these areas you will of course also need a compatible phone. To that end Vodafone is offering the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, along with some affordable plans that are no more expensive than its 4G tariffs.
A special deal is available whereby you get 60GB of data for the price of 30GB when you select a £70/month Galaxy S10 5G or £58/month Mi Mix 3 5G tariff (both require a £49 upfront fee). Check out the best 5G phone deals.
During this morning's presentation Vodafone also announced a range of 5G Business plans for Soho and SME customers, with Business Unlimited Lite (2Mbps), Business Unlimited (10Mbps) and Business Unlimited Max (Fastest speed) plans costing from £23 (£19.16 ex VAT), £26 (£21.66 ex VAT) and £30 (£25 ex VAT) per month respectively.
These plans can be used with Vodafone's usual Business Add Ons, such as a virtual landline and four-hour device replacement. A digital marketplace that allows small businesses to purchase security and productivity apps will follow later this year.
What is 5G?
5G is the umbrella term for the fifth-generation of mobile networks. It's significantly faster than 4G (up to 20 times as fast), and has both greater network capacity and lower latency, which means you should see better-than-Wi-Fi speeds on the move, even in the busiest areas, with minimal lag. (Learn more about 5G.)
Vodafone's 5G network was switched on by its first 5G ambassador, F1 champ Lewis Hamilton, in London this morning. It followed the demonstration of a haptic feedback stunt that was intended to show the power and capabilities of 5G. Wasps rugby players Juan De Jongh and Will Rowlands showed how the impact of a tackle made in Coventry's Ricoh Stadium could be felt 100 miles away in London in front of a live audience.
Though the stunt may not have everyday implications for most people, Scott Petty, Chief Technology Officer at Vodafone, said: "The speed and low latency of the network opens a wealth of new opportunities that have not been possible before. One of the most exciting is haptic communication technology that allows people to feel physical sensations remotely. Haptic technology like this will play a huge part in the future from healthcare to gaming.”
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