O2 launches 5G network in six locations

Mobile giant follows in footsteps of EE and Vodafone.

Written by
Tom Harrison
Insurance expert
28 OCTOBER 2019
2 min read
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O2 has become the latest mobile operator to launch its 5G network.

The ultra-fast service starts in six UK locations – Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London and Slough – with 5G tariffs including an Unlimited data option at the same price as its 4G equivalents.

The network will initially switch on in busy areas including London Waterloo and Kings Cross, and Haymarket in Edinburgh. It will be rolled out to 20 other towns and cities at the end of the year and 50 by summer 2020.

Mark Evans, CEO, Telefónica UK, said: “I believe 5G is going to revolutionise the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society.

“No one in the country has all the answers today, but I’m excited about getting it into the hands of our customers and working with leading partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.”

Network growth

EE was the first network to offer 5G back in May, while Vodafone switched on its 5G network in July. Vodafone 5G is currently available in 15 UK towns and cities, with a further seven in the pipeline for later this year. EE 5G is available in nine cities, and will be rolled out to 26 sites in 2019/20. Cardiff and London have access to all three networks.

5G enables web browsing, movie downloads, gaming and more, all at lightning speeds. It’s also set to transform the performance of smart tech devices.

Matt Warman, Digital Minister, said: “We want the UK to be a global leader in 5G and for the majority of the population to have access to a 5G signal by 2027.

“This investment by O2 is a great step forward in rolling out the technology across our home nations, providing world-class infrastructure to help us grow our economy and compete strongly.”

Virtual reality

O2 is also offering access to MelodyVR, which lets music fans watch gigs using virtual reality.

To access the network, you’ll need a 5G-enabled handset. O2 currently offers four 5G-enabled devices: the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G; the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G; the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G and the Samsung Galaxy A90 (5G).