The capabilities will initially be offered in seven cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. However, the company is looking to rapidly expand and aims to have more than 1,000 locations covered by 5G by 2020.
Other towns and cities set to receive 5G before the end of this year include Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.
Vodafone has also promised that 5G customers will not have to pay a premium in order to access the technology, unlike some other operators, and customers will also be able to access 5G roaming in Germany, Italy and Spain this summer. However, they will have to upgrade to a 5G-ready smartphone.
At launch, Vodafone is offering a choice of two gadgets, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G. It had originally intended to also offer the Huawei Mate 20 X, but this has been postponed due to current uncertainties surrounding the Chinese firm.
Huawei has, however, stated that its device will be available to customers in the UK before the end of July.
Research conducted by Vodafone has also suggested that 5G will be hugely valuable in helping start-up businesses in the UK compete with more established names.
Almost six out of ten start-up firms (58 per cent) said 5G would enhance their competitiveness within two years, and more than half (56 per cent) added they expect it to change the way they operate their business.
Speaking earlier this year, chief executive of Vodafone UK Nick Jeffery said: “UK businesses can lead the world in adopting 5G to boost productivity and attract investment. It means consumers can get the fastest mobile speeds ever, and it means that our public sector will be able to adopt new services to improve healthcare, social services and housing.”
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