Vodafone first to 5G service in UK with July launch
Vodafone has said that it will turn on its 5G service in the UK on 3 July. It is the first firm to confirm a UK switch-on date, and both business customers and consumers will be able to sign up.
Vodafone said the benefits of the next-generation mobile network would include faster and more reliable data speeds for customers in busy areas.
The company will rely on equipment from the Chinese telecoms provider Huawei, among others, to deliver the service.
The UK government is still carrying out a review of the telecoms sector that has the potential to restrict or even block the use of Huawei’s kit to address cyber-security concerns.
However, a leak last month indicated that network providers will indeed be allowed to Huawei’s radio access network (Ran) gear, which allows devices to wirelessly connect systems via radio signals transmitted over the airwaves.
“Offering speeds over 5G up to 10 times faster than 4G, we’ve shown commuters at busy airports and railway stations that they can download TV box sets or movies in a matter of seconds before they embark on their journey,” Vodafone added in a press release.
Users will need a 5G-compatible smartphone or router to take advantage of the technology.
Vodafone has said it would reveal details of its 5G price plans next week. However, it has already said they would not be more expensive than its equivalent 4G deals.
The announcement coincided with the company’s announcement that it had swung to a €7.6bn (£6.6bn) full-year loss, which has caused it to cut dividend payments to shareholders.