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Vodafone switches on 5G and unlimited data plans

Manny Pham
July 3, 2019

All 5G plans have unlimited data with their download speed differentiating them. Prices start at £23

Vodafone has today (July 3) launched its 5G network with unlimited data 5G plans.

Formula 1 Five-Time World Champion Lewis Hamilton was on stage to launch the operator’s 5G network. Vodafone also demonstrated on stage how two players from London Wasps rugby team could train with each other 100 miles apart.

Using 5G the the impact of a rugby tackle made by Will Rowlands at the Ricoh stadium in Coventry was transferred via 5G to teammate Juan de Jongh on stage in London, who was wearing a haptic Teslasuit. 

5G went live in seven UK cities today Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. Cities that will see 5G later in the year are  Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.

The operator pledged it will “not charge a price premium for access to its 5G network”. Plans start from £23 per month and comes in three tiers that are different through their download speeds. Vodafone Lite the bottom tier offers speeds up to 2Mbps for £23 per month.

Next is Vodafone Unlimited for £26 per month users get 10Mbps, and finally Vodafone Max is £30 per month with an unspecified speed but guarantees 4K video streaming and low latency gaming.

The Vodafone 5G network uses equipment from Swedish manufacturer Ericsson and Chinese vendor Huawei.

5G Devices
Two 5G smartphones are available the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. A 5G router will also be sold, the 5G GigaCube which boasts 10 times faster broadband speeds for £30 per month.

“We will revolutionise the market”
Vodafone UK chief executive officer Nick Jeffery (above) said: “5G will transform the way we live and work. Our customers are streaming over 50pc more content today than they did last year, and with 5G the demand for data is only set to increase.

“That is why we want to remove the limits on data, so that customers can unlock the full potential of 5G, and we can really propel the UK into the digital age. By offering unlimited plans to our consumer and business customers, we will revolutionise the market. We will give customers all the data they need, when and where they want it.”

CCS Insight consumer and connectivity director Kester Mann said Vodafone’s 5G play could spell bad news for rival Three.

“Vodafone’s move into unlimited data and its decision to price 5G the same as 4G indicate the emergence of a challenger mentality”, he said.

“This is in sharp contrast to its traditional premium-focussed approach. It could spell bad news for Three, which has built a strategy based on challenging industry norms.”

PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore backs Three to disrupt the UK market with enticing 5G plans. He said “All eyes are now on Three UK’s launch next month which promises to further disrupt the market. People’s insatiable appetite for data continues to proliferate.”

Ericsson UK and Ireland CEO Marielle Lindgren said the UK’s head start over other European states will “pay dividends” as superior mobile networks are “forecasted to make a contribution of around £300bn to the UK economy by 2030”, according Ericsson research.

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