Vodafone UK’s commercial 5G service to go live in July
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Vodafone demonstrated a 5G holographic call last year

Vodafone UK has announced that its commercial 5G network will go live for both consumers and business customers in seven cities in the UK on 3 July. The company will also offer 5G roaming in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain over the summer.

The seven cities are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London.

Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton, will follow later in the year. The company has said that its 5G service will be priced at the same level as 5G for both consumers and business customers.

Vodafone will soon be opening a technology centre at MediaCity, Salford, Greater Manchester and will equip the Ricoh Arena – home of Wasps rugby and netball clubs – with 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Customers will be able to choose from several 5G compatible devices ahead of the company’s 5G network switch on, including:

  • the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G smartphone, which will initially be available exclusively from Vodafone online and in store from 23 May 2019;
  • the Samsung S10 5G and Huawei Mate 20 X (5G), which will be available for pre-order later this month; and
  • the Huawei Mate X (5G) and an exclusive 5G home router, called the 5G Gigacube, which will launch this summer.

Vodafone to trial 5G in seven UK cities
Vodafone goes live with 5G trial in Salford
Holo there! Vodafone performs 5G holographic call

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.”

Vodafone UK’s parent company, Vodafone Group, today (14 May) announced that it had made a €7.6 billion loss in the financial year ending 31 March 2019 and it attributed this mainly to “a loss on disposal of Vodafone India (following the completion of the merger with Idea Cellular) and impairments..” The company also posted a 6.2 per cent reduction in group revenue to €43.67 billion, “reflecting foreign exchange headwinds, the impact of the adoption of IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standard] 15, which nets certain components of dealer commissions from service revenues, and the sale of Vodafone Qatar.”

Vodafone Business saw the number of its IoT connections rise to to 85 million, a 24 per cent YoY increase. Overall IoT revenues increased by 9.7 per cent, hindered by a decline in those from the automotive segment.

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