UK: O2 announces that it's to begin 5G rollout from October

O2 has announced that its 5G network will launch in October, initially starting in a select few areas where demand is high before expanding over the following months. By the summer of 2020, it hopes to have launched 5G in 50 towns and cities around the country. To anticipate the launch, the firm will begin selling several 5G handsets as early as next month.

In October, O2 said that it plans to launch 5G in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough, and Leeds. It’ll be situated in key locations like train stations, business areas, and entertainment and sports venues where people will be recording videos and snapping pictures and will want the fastest speeds to upload these to the net.

By the end of this year, O2 will have expanded 5G to key locations in more towns and cities including Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Eton, Guildford, Leicester, Lisburn, Norwich, Nottingham, Reading, Stoke, and Windsor; bringing the total to 20 towns and cities with 5G. By next summer the list will include 50 towns and cities in all, with the expansion adding Aberdeen, Bradford, Brighton, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Cambridge, Glasgow, Hove, Kingston, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newbury, Newcastle, Northampton, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Southampton, Sunderland, Warrington, and Wolverhampton.

While it’s probably a bit premature to splash out cash on a 5G handset just yet, O2 will be selling the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G from August 8 and the Xiaomi Mix 3 5G later in August. Other unspecified devices will launch with 5G, ready for October. There will also be several tariffs for personal and business customers to select that include 5G.

For customers who rely on and want to continue using 4G in future, O2 was clear to point out that 4G remains the backbone of the network and upgrades are still going on to further boost capacity around the country, especially at sports venues. Overall, O2 spends around £2 million a day on 4G network improvements and delivers services to almost 19,000 cities, towns, and villages up and down the country.

O2 is one of the last carriers in the UK to launch 5G, EE launched first back in May, followed by Vodafone earlier this month, and Three who plans to launch in August.

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