Vodafone and O2 customers could soon get access to fast 5G speeds thanks to a new update from the UK operators.
The two firms have announced today that they plan to extend the existing network sharing partnership term and include new 5G technology at joint radio network sites.
This they say will enable them to deploy 5G faster and to offer 5G services to more customers over a wider geographic area, and to do so at a lower cost.
5G is the next generation of mobile technology and will offer customers much faster download speeds when on the move.
In fact, it’s thought you’ll be able to get speeds of over 100Mbps – around three times faster than average fixed-line broadband.
As well things arriving on devices much faster, 5G also allows more devices to get an improved connection at the same time.
This is especially important at places such as busy train stations when many consumers are trying to access the network at once.
5G should mean there’s never any issues getting online no matter how many people are attempting to get online.
Speaking about the news, Mark Evans, CEO, Telefónica UK, said: “I’m excited by the potential of these plans to meet the future needs of our customers while delivering value for our business.
“In addition, these plans would allow us to utilise the spectrum we acquired in the last auction very effectively.”
And Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK, added: “We believe that these plans will generate significant benefits for our business and our customers as we move into the digital era of connected devices, appliances and systems on a mass scale.
“Customers will benefit from the best 5G experience available and we will deliver even faster speeds by using our spectrum holding more effectively.”
It’s currently unclear when the 5G rollout will happen but one network has already committed to releasing this technology in 2019.
EE says that it is switching on 5G sites in 16 UK cities in 2019.
The first launch cities will be the UK’s four capital cities – London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast – plus Birmingham and Manchester.
As well as the six launch areas, through 2019 EE will also be introducing 5G across the busiest parts of ten more UK cities: Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.
“Adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network will increase reliability, increase speeds, and keep our customers connected where they need it most,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division.
“This is another milestone for the UK and for our network journey – we’ll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers. We have an ambition to connect our customers to 4G, 5G or WiFi 100% of the time.”
It’s worth remembering that to access 5G you’ll need a new smartphone as current handsets are not compatible with this new technology.
There’s no official launch for 5G-ready phones although Samsung and OnePlus have both revealed they will be launching these fast devices later this year.