Vodafone has rolled its 5G network out in a number of new locations across the UK and in Europe.
This means the 5G network now spans a total of 104 locations – that’s twice the number of places as Vodafone’s main 5G competitor, EE, which has 50 live 5G-connected locations.
Vodafone’s newest 5G spots include major cities such as Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds as well as smaller towns including Cheadle, Rochdale and Stockport in and around Greater Manchester, with a total of 34 active locations in the country today.
Vodafone is also still the only UK operator to offer 5G roaming abroad, with five new locations in the Republic of Ireland (Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Waterford) joining Vodafone’s list of 65 5G networks across Germany, Italy and Spain.
You can use Vodafone’s location list tool to see if your city has 5G.
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As far as its competitors are concerned, EE plans to have its 5G network live in more than 70 cities and large towns by March 2020, while O2’s network is currently available in 21 locations, with 50 more to be added this summer.
Meanwhile, Three has plans in place to expand its own speedy 5G network outside of London and into 25 new cities very soon.
With 5G closing in on more and more areas, phone manufacturers are racing to introduce more 5G devices to the market. These include heavy hitting flagships from Samsung and Huawei, along with other popular handsets from the likes of OnePlus, Xiaomi and LG.
That said, iPhone and Google Pixel users needn’t feel panicked just yet if their city has been left out of the 5G location lists. According to a report from Fast Company, we might finally see a 5G iPhone this year but Apple has yet to confirm this rumour. The company has suffered stumbles with chip manufacturers in the past leading to setbacks in its 5G development.
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“It will get there”, said Rakowski. “but now is not the right time to buy a 5G phone. Both from a deployment perspective – the coverage is not broadly available in enough places for enough users to benefit from it – [and] from a hardware and phone perspective – it’s still power hungry [and] immature”.
It will be interested to see if Google takes stock of 5G’s fast expansion in the UK when it comes to deciding whether the Pixel 5 will be a 5G device.