Vodafone promised earlier this year that it would launch its 5G network in several towns and cities across the UK this year, but without confirming an official date. Today, the British telecommunications giant announced that it will be rolling out 5G to seven cities across the country on July 3 before its wider availability by the end of the year.
The first batch of cities that will receive the next-generation cellular network connectivity are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, and London. The service will be available for both consumers and enterprise customers. It's worth noting that those cities also hosted the carrier's 5G tests conducted last year. Later in 2019, Vodafone's 5G network is also set to go live across Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, and Wolverhampton.
Vodafone promised that its 5G offering won't cost more than its 4G services, with its new price plans set to be revealed next week. However, customers will need to use a 5G-enabled smartphone in order to connect to the network, and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G will be the first 5G handset to be available from May 23. Additionally, Vodafone is planning to switch on its 5G and internet of things technology for the Wasps rugby and netball clubs at the Ricoh Arena as part of a new sponsorship deal.
Other 5G phone options are also scheduled to go on sale online or via Vodafone stores by the summer such as the Huawei Mate X (5G) in addition to a 5G router for home and office use. Another option is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G which can be pre-ordered later this month along with the Mate 20 X (5G). The Galaxy S10 5G will be released in Europe by June. Vodafone's first 5G roaming will also be available in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain this summer.