Second 5G network goes live in seven UK cities, with unlimited data plans for businesses and consumers
Vodafone has today switched on its 5G network that comes with a range of competitively priced consumer and business packages, that includes unlimited data.
Vodafone’s 5G network is available in seven cities across the UK, including Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. However the 5G network will only be available in certain parts of those cities at present.
Vodafone does intend to add more locations throughout the year with Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton expected to be switched on before the end of the year.
There is little doubt that 5G has been a costly affair for the operator, and in May Vodafone slashed its dividend payouts to investors for the first time since it began the payments in the 1990s, as a direct result of heavy expenditures to buy 5G spectrum licences in Germany and Italy.
And despite EE launching its 5G network at the end of May, Vodafone says that it is the first operator that will provide 5G roaming in four European countries this summer, namely the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy (27 cities in total across Europe).
Three UK meanwhile will switch on its 5G network in the UK in August.
So what is Vodafone offering for consumers and businesses?
Well for consumers, the good news is that Vodafone is offering three pricing 5G plans (SIM only) that are priced at the same cost per month as its 4G plans.
First off is ‘Unlimited Max’ which will cost £30 per month, and give users unlimited mobile data at speeds as fast as the device and the network will allow.
The second plan (Vodafone Unlimited) will cost £26 per month and offer speeds of up to 10 Mbps (megabits per second).
The third plan (Vodafone Unlimited Lite) will cost £23 per month and offers speeds of up to 2 Mbps.
On the business side, to enable business customers to take full advantage of 5G, Vodafone Business Unlimited plans include 5G and unlimited data with prices starting at £19.16 per month excluding. VAT (aimed at small businesses).
Business Unlimited is ideal for professional services such as an estate agent or marketing consultant wishing to use Google maps to get around or upload and download larger files, images and video from £21.66/month.
And Business Unlimited Max is offers unlimited data and the fastest 5G available plus Vodafone’s best-in-class roaming offer, all from £25.00/month.
“Our Soho and SME customers tell us they see their data allowance as a data limit,” said Anne Sheehan, Business Director of Vodafone UK. “Today, we are removing this constraint. Vodafone Business Unlimited and Business Add-Ons will provide everything businesses need to thrive, including connectivity, data, apps, services and support. It is part of our commitment to be the go-to Digital Partner for UK businesses.”
“5G is a game-changer for the economy and UK businesses.” said Sheehan. “We are committed to helping our customers take advantage of this technology by making it widely available in the UK and through roaming.”
The UK is among the first batch of countries to launch 5G networks.
SK Telecom (South Korea) launched in April what it claimed was the world’s first commercial 5G network, spanning 85 cities.
But that claim was immediately disputed American carrier AT&T, which said it rolled out a “commercial and standards-based” 5G network (across 12 cities) in December last year.
Verizon in the US meanwhile switched on its 5G network in two cities on 11 April.
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