High five as Three joins in
THE FAMILY 5G HAS JUST GOT BIGGER AND IT’S COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU VERY SOON
THE 5G revolution is well and truly under way, with a third mobile operator revealing plans to launch services this year. Three joined EE and Vodafone in the 5G marketplace with an announcement that it plans to launch a home broadband service in London using the technology in August, and roll out a mobile phone service to 25 towns and cities across the UK before the end of the year.
After London, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sunderland will follow.
Three won’t say how much it is going to cost until next month, but feels it has acquired a more useful range of the new mobile spectrum that will allow it to offer faster connections than its rivals.
Vodafone’s 5G service will launch on July 3 in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. Service in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton will follow by the end of the year.
At the moment Vodafone is offering two 5G capable phones (existing devices won’t be able to take advantage of the new speed and reliability), with the 5G version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 available with 30GB of data for £66-a-month and £49.99 up-front.
A cheaper option is the Xiaomi Mi Max 3, which you can get with 15GB of data for £54-a-month with no up-front cost.
EE’s 5G service is already up and running in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester. And the service will hit Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield before the end of the year.
Service is reported to be a little spotty, but speeds up to 200Mbps are standard in areas where service is good – compare that with download speeds of around 20Mbps on the 4G network and you will see the appeal of the new network.
Theoretically, 5G should be able to offer speeds as fast a 1Gbps when the technology is fully rolled out.
EE is offering four 5G phones at
the moment – the Oppo Reno 5G, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. The Galaxy S10 costs £10 up-front and £74 a month for 30GB of data, while the OnePlus 7 Pro can be had with an astonishing 120GB of data for £79-a-month and £10 up-front. See ee.co.uk for prices and options.
Both EE and Vodafone dropped a 5G capable Huawei phone from their line-ups after Google said it would not support Android on the Chinese company’s hardware over security fears.
Home broadband will also be available on EE and Vodafone, although details of pricing have not yet been announced.
5G has a number of advantages over the current 4G mobile network – it will be up to 10 times faster, more reliable, offer lower latency, and allow faster connection for more devices.
The technology remains in its infancy, and the true capabilities of it will not be fully realised for a number of years, as the mobile companies roll out the hardware across the country.
Why do you need 5G, you might ask – perhaps you feel 4G is fast enough, and it probably is right now.
But 5G will offer speeds that surpass even those available on home-wired broadband, enabling a whole new range of potential uses. 4K video calling on the go will become a possibility, as well as console-standard gaming.
Next-generation technology like autonomous vehicles and drone deliveries will also rely on the larger number of more reliable connections available.
5G will not just make the things we do now faster and more usable, it will open up a whole new world of possibilities for a whole new range of connected devices.
Three’s a crowd pleaser, now that it’s joined the 5G party
Take your pick: The networks are offering some interesting deals on the future of mobile phones