O2 Launches 5G Network In Six UK Cities

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Network launch sees customers offered unlimited 5G data and no premium for connecting to 5G network

O2 is the last of the big four mobile operators in the UK to officially launch its 5G network in six cities including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds.

The operator kicked off the network launch by revealing that customers would be offered unlimited 5G data plans, and there would be no 5G premium.

Three launched its 5G network in August, but EE had become the first UK operator to launch a 5G network, when its network went live at the end of May in six UK cities.

5G - Shutterstock © glossyplastic

5G launch

Vodafone meanwhile launched its 5G network in July, also offering unlimited 5G data, and it has also expanded its 5G networks into other parts of Europe.

Unlike the other three, O2 is the only operator not to be using 5G equipment from Huawei, as it has instead opted to use 5G equipment from Ericsson and Nokia.

O2’s 5G network has launched on Thursday in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds.

“The network will initially switch on where it’s needed most, including busy footfall areas around London Waterloo and Kings Cross; Haymarket in Edinburgh; Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds; and Belfast South city centre; or in busy match-day hotspots around Twickenham or the Emirates Stadium,” said O2.

The network will be live in a total of 20 towns and cities by the end of the year, and 50 by summer 2020.

Unlimited data

As would be expected in this cut-throat market, the launch sees the arrival of a range of new tariffs, including an unlimited data option, at the same price as its 4G equivalents.

“Today is a significant moment for our customers and our business as we switch on the O2 5G network,” said Mark Evans, CEO, Telefónica UK. “We’re launching with a range of tariffs that make it easy and fair for customers to access 5G, with flexible plans that cost no more than 4G. We’re also switching on 5G in important parts of towns and cities first, places where it will benefit customers and businesses most.”

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

Along with the new tarrifs, there is an option for music lovers with O2 offering access to MelodyVR to transport people from their living rooms to live events around the world.

A full range of the tariffs can be found here.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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