The race to 5G has already started, even outside the United States, and Vodafone is the latest carrier to join in on the fun. The company launched the service today in seven UK cities, including Glasgow, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Bristol, but it plans to expand to 27 cities across Europe before the end of the year. According to previous announcements, at least 19 of those cities should be in the UK.
To go along with the newly-launched network, Vodafone had some other news to share, including the fact that it won't be charging a premium for its 5G network. New unlimited plans will include both 4G and 5G data from July 10, starting at £23, though you'll want to spring for the Unlimited Max plan for £30 to get unlimited speeds and make use of the capabilities of 5G. 5G roaming will also be included as the company's 5G network launches in other countries across Europe, starting with Germany, Italy, and Spain over the summer, with 4G roaming available on up to 77 countries worldwide. Red plans have also been simplified, with Red 1 offering 1GB of monthly data, Red 2 with 3GB, and Red 3 with 20GB. Business plans are also being updated to include 5G.
Vodafone is also launching a new Vodafone Together plan, which brings together home broadband and 5G plans. The plan starts at £43 if you choose an unlimited mobile plan, but you can choose from the company's Red plans as well, and you get a £3 discount by combining the two services. For a limited time, those who subscribe to the combined plans will also get a free Amazon Echo Plus, with support for two-way calling, which makes Vodafone the first carrier in the world to enable the feature on Alexa devices.
Of course, there are also new 5G devices for you to try the network with, with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G now being available from Vodafone. The phones both cost £49 upfront and need to be coupled with a Vodafone Red plan for 24 months, though for now, you'll only be able to link it with existing plans, and not the new ones mentioned above. Presumably, new pricing options should come up once the new plans are available.
There's also a new 5G-ready GigaCube router, built by Huawei, which turns 5G into Wi-Fi. That device starts at £30 per month for 18 months with an upfront payment of £100, and that gets you 100GB per month. If you want unlimited data, you'll need to pay £50 upfront and then £50 per month.