Vodafone is the latest mobile operator to give more details of its 5G rollout, announcing plans to launch its next-generation mobile service in 19 towns and cities across the UK during 2019.
The company said that nine trial sites are already live or switching on as part of its ongoing 5G trial, which started last year in Salford. Sites in Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool have been switched on and are streaming live 5G mobile data traffic, while 5G antennas and equipment is now installed at sites in Birmingham, Glasgow and London ahead of going live.
Following these sites, Vodafone will be extending its service to Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Newbury, Warrington and Wolverhampton this year.
SEE: How 5G Will Transform Business (ZDNet Special Report)
5G technology will provide vastly more bandwidth for smartphone users, who are increasingly using data-rich applications like video on the go. 5G networks will also offer lower latency, which means they respond much faster, making applications like virtual reality and real-time video much more usable. 5G can also support many more devices, which could lead to massive growth in use cases like the Internet of Things (IoT).
All of the big mobile networks have now announced plans to roll out 5G in at least some towns and cities this year. 5G handsets are on the way, but won't arrive in any great numbers until the end of the year.
Late last year, EE said it will be launching 5G in 16 UK cities in 2019, and switching on 5G in the busiest locations across London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester as phase one of its launch. This will be followed by parts of Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.
O2 is starting its 5G rollout in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London later this year. The mobile operator said it will bring 5G to other areas of the UK "from 2020", which will coincide with the wider availability of 5G handsets. Three has also said it will deliver 5G in 2019.
RECENT AND RELATED COVERAGE
How 5G can unlock IoT's potential
The Internet of Things will involve an astounding amount of data—and the next generation of wireless communications could play a key role.
LG to unveil first 5G smartphone with Snapdragon 855 at MWC
LG's yet-to-be-named first 5G smartphone will be unveiled on February 24th at Mobile World Congress, sporting a Snapdragon 855 processor, a vapor chamber, and a 4,000 mAh battery.
ZTE makes 5G call on prototype smartphone and end-to-end kit
Company with reputation problems calls in Al Gore's failed US vice-presidental candidate.
5G, smart cities, and other top tech trends for 2019 (TechRepublic)
Quantitative futurist Amy Webb shares her predictions for 2019 tech trends.
Verizon says its 'laser focused' on 5G after solid Q4 adjusted earnings
Verizon took a big writeoff for Verizon Media, but said it added 1.2 million retail customers and has revamped to focus on 5G experiences.
LG sets up 6G research centre at KAIST
LG Electronics and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have opened a 6G research centre to cooperate in the development of the next-generation wireless network.
New Galaxy S10 phones bring it: 4 rear cameras, 1TB of storage, in-screen fingerprint scanner and 5G (CNET)
Meet the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, "cheap" Galaxy S10E and Galaxy S10 5G.