Vodafone launching 5G on July 3 for same price as 4G

5G roaming will be available this summer too.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins

A man shows a phone on a 5G network.

Mark Bassett

Vodafone is turning on its 5G service on July 3 in the UK, the network announced on Tuesday, with the bonus that it will be available at the same price as 4G for both businesses and consumers.

Super speedy 5G networks will be available in seven cities at launch (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London), with a further 12 to come later this year. Vodafone is also offering 5G roaming in the UK, Italy, France and Spain over the summer.

Vodafone claims its 5G will offer data speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G. But 5G won't just improve speed, it should also ensure better coverage in congested areas, such as at sporting events, music venues and shopping centers.

To take advantage of the faster network speeds being promised by Vodafone, you'll need to ensure you have a 5G phone. The network will start selling 5G-enabled handsets, as well as a 5G home router for fixed-line, high-speed broadband access next week.

Options will include:

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G smartphone, which will initially be available exclusively from Vodafone online and in store from May 23
  • Samsung S10 5G
  • Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
  • Huawei Mate X 5G 
  • An exclusive 5G home router, called the 5G Gigacube, which will launch this summer.

5G-enabled phones will initially work on 4G networks, and will upgrade to 5G as soon as it becomes available.

Watch this: 5G phone speeds will give you whiplash