Vodafone strikes first in the race to bring 5G to the people of the UK by announcing a go-live date of the 3rd of July. As an added bonus, they suggest it won’t add any price increase over 4G either.
This announcement makes Vodafone the first UK operator to announce a roll-out plan, and it will be debuting in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and of course, London. Further 5G roll-out plans for Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, and Wolverhampton will follow later in the year.
Vodafone also announced that the operator will not be charging a premium for 5G over their existing 4G deployment, although we expect that to be for existing customers. New customers might well suffer the ‘early adopter tax’ and of course there’s the premium attached to the new 5G-enabled smartphones that will be released later this year.
“We started our 5G journey more than three years ago. We led the way in setting 5G standards to ensure phones and networks work well together. We upgraded our masts to be able to take 5G without disruption. And we were the first UK company to test 5G over our all-fibre core fixed and mobile network” – Vodafone UK Chief Executive, Nick Jeffrey.
Vodafone has confirmed some of those devices are the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, available from May 23rd, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, both of which will be available for pre-order later in May 2019. Vodafone will also offer a standalone 5G router to allow high-speed broadband access to homes and businesses without the need for conventional fixed line connections.