Vodafone to Switch on UK's First 5G Network on July 3, 2019

Vodafone on Tuesday said it will switch on its 5G network in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2019, making it the first carrier to announce a firm date for the launch of the next-generation cellular technology in the country.

Seven cities will get 5G coverage at launch, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. The rollout will extend by the end of the year to Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.


In a press release on its site, Vodafone said it will price 5G the same as 4G for both consumers and business customers, while a choice of 5G smartphones will be available to buy online or in Vodafone stores over the summer. They will include the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G, the Samsung S10 5G and Huawei Mate 20 X (5G), and the Huawei Mate X (5G).

The company will also offer a 5G router for use in the home and office to give customers without a fixed line connection high-speed broadband access. Vodafone said it will also offer 5G roaming in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain over the summer.
Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery said: "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.

"This is important. It means we can today announce the largest launch of 5G in the UK and be the first to announce 5G roaming. It means that UK businesses can lead the world in adopting 5G to boost productivity and attract investment. It means consumers can get the fastest mobile speeds ever, and it means that our public sector will be able to adopt new services to improve healthcare, social services and housing."
Multiple rumors dating back months have suggested Apple is going to launch a 5G iPhone in 2020, which means the 2019 iPhones will continue to use 4G.

There were questions about whether Apple would be able to acquire 5G chips for its 2020 devices following its dispute with Qualcomm, however that litigation has been cleared up, making a 5G iPhone in 2020 a real prospect.

Apple won't be prepared to launch 5G iPhones in 2019 and can't afford to wait until 2021, with competitors already launching 5G smartphones, therefore 2020 is almost certainly the year 5G will come to iPhone.

Top Rated Comments

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27 weeks ago
Lucky them. Vodafone AU haven't even announced they will have a 5G network, they barley have a 4G one.

July 3, 2019

I'm sure they actually said "3rd July, 2019". ;)
Rating: 8 Votes
27 weeks ago
Vodafone is such an awful carrier (voted worst carrier for the 8th consecutive year in the UK) so I wish those people using their 5G network good luck
Rating: 6 Votes
27 weeks ago
Since the official 5G spec is not being released until September of next year, what 5G are they using?
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago
Those votes mean nothing. Doesn't EE win the best network award every year but still doesn't offer anywhere near nationwide coverage?

I have personal contacts with EE & Vodafone. I find Vodafone to be consistently excellent. I personally get great coverage wherever I go & Vodafone Global Roaming is a godsend and saved me £1000's.

Vodafone's UK 3G network was patchy but they spent billions of buying up large amounts of the 4G & 5G spectrum so I have no doubt Vodafone 5G will be decent.
Rating: 2 Votes
27 weeks ago

Vodafone is such an awful carrier (voted worst carrier for the 8th consecutive year in the UK) so I wish those people using their 5G network good luck

I always found that they had the best coverage though. Most businesses that I deal with seem to all use them.
Rating: 2 Votes
27 weeks ago
2 issues with 5G,

One, how much more power will it need to service the whole nation compared to 4G.

Current 4G (for me at least) can download at 75Mbs, do I really need anymore? And will it work better in those hard to reach places like current systems.
Rating: 2 Votes
27 weeks ago


The upgrade doesn’t seem easy, nor vastly more efficient. What data are you aware of that makes you say it will be easy? I’m reading that they’ll even need to put up more towers to get the same coverage because 5G frequencies won’t travel as far. Your finger-snap to 5G everywhere idea doesn’t seem to align with reality


I used to work for EE, so I know a thing or two about this kind of stuff, but I am not claiming to be a telecoms expert.

I previously stated that more base stations will be needed & a large number of existing 4G base stations can be easily upgraded to support 5G. It's not like the dark days of the 3G>4G infrastructure upgrade!

Most large cities in the UK should see a relatively fast roll-out of 5G. Of course the roll-out to smaller towns will take longer, but thanks to existing decent 4G infrastructure the roll-out will be be quick rather than gradual.
Rating: 2 Votes
27 weeks ago
/reads statement from Vodafone's CEO
/shakes head
"That's too much work. Just relabel our service and call it a day"
-Randall Stephenson, CEO AT&T
Rating: 1 Votes
27 weeks ago

I always found that they had the best coverage though. Most businesses that I deal with seem to all use them.


Yep, they have the best coverage. I work in the Countryside and 4G is perfect, actually better speeds than WIFI.
Rating: 1 Votes
27 weeks ago
Least it’s priced the same...but wonder if my carrier EE will do the same.

Won’t matter much though until 2020 as iPhones won’t have it til then anyway
Rating: 1 Votes

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