High five as Three joins in


Llanelli Star - - TECH NOW -

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

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