Vodafone launches its 5G network TODAY and becomes the second provider in the UK to offer the ultra-fast mobile internetJuly 5, 2019
Vodafone has joined the 5G battle and has become the second provider in the UK to offer the ultra-fast mobile internet to its customers.
Rival EE pipped it to the post in the race to become the first 5G mobile provider in the country last month but it is now live in seven British cities.
It is being launched today in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London.
A range of 12 towns and cities across the UK will be added later in the year – including Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.
Specialist 5G SIMs and handsets are required to access the network. Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, One Plus and LG have either already released, or will be releasing various handsets.
Formula One star and British racing hero Lewis Hamilton turned the network on around the UK at a special event in London today.
It was announced at the Sky Garden in London with a stunt involving professional rugby players.
In a ‘world-first’ for the technology it transmitted a rugby tackle over 5G, using haptic feedback.
Wasps star Juan De Jongh buckled under the impact of a tackle made 100 miles away from Coventry’s Ricoh Stadium by his team mate Will Rowlands.
De Jongh, who was wearing a full-body Teslasuit which simulated the impact of the tackle, said: ‘I’ve never experienced anything like this. It felt like something from the Matrix.
‘This technology could not only help athletes to train, but to get back into training after injury.’
Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, One Plus and LG have either already released, or will be releasing, 5G devices.
Vodafone may have been the first to announce an official date, but EE undercut this by more than a month.
It is also offering 5G roaming in Germany, Italy and Spain over the summer.
It will launch initially in seven cities, compared to EE’s six, with just London, Cardiff and Manchester hosting both networks.
Vodafone will also be in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Myriad other smaller cities will then get 5G throughout the year, including Stoke, Blackpool and Portsmouth.
O2 is also working on its 5G capabilities but appears to be lagging behind the other two in terms of established infrastructure and clear plans.
It said in February it will launch 5G in the UK at some point this year. It has yet to elaborate on this.
It also intends to start in just four places, earmarking the capital cities of the UK nations -Belfast, London, Cardiff and Edinburgh.