Vodafone UK announced that 5G services will go live on 03 July. Vodafone 5G will be available in seven cities at launch, before being extended to 12 other cities by end-2019.
The 03 July switch-on is for both business and consumer customers, with 5G priced the same as 4G for both. Vodafone will also introduce 5G roaming in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain over summer 2019. A choice of smartphones will be available over summer 2019, with the first going on sale from the week of 20 May. Price plans will be announced next week to coincide with availability of the first handset. These handsets can initially be used on 4G until the 5G network is switched on. Vodafone will also offer a 5G router for home and office use.
The seven launch cities are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. This will be followed by Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.
Customers will be able to choose from several 5G devices, including the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, initially available exclusively from Vodafone in store and online from 23 May; the Samsung S10 5G and Huawei Mate 20 X (5G), available for pre-order later in May; and the Huawei Mate X (5G) and exclusive 5G Gigacube home router, which will launch in the summer.
Vodafone is also setting up digital innovation and incubator centres across the UK, including a soon-to-open technology centre at MediaCity in Salford. It is also planning a new 5G facility at the Ricoh Area in Coventry, home of Wasps rugby and netball clubs. Under a new sponsorship and technology deal with Wasps, Vodafone will equip the rugby stadium and netball centre with 5G and IoT technology.