Vodafone UK has switched on its 5G network in seven cities, with 5G roaming in four European countries to be available over the summer. This brings the total number of cities where Vodafone Group has launched 5G services across Europe to 27.
The launch comes with a new range of tariff plans offering unlimited data at different price points based on speed.
The seven launch cities are London, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham. The network will be expanded to 19 cities and towns by end-2019, Vodafone said. The switch-on was marked with the UK's first haptic transfer over 5G featuring two players from Wasps rugby team. One player made a ruby tackle at the Ricoh stadium in Coventry, with the impact transferred via 5G to a teammate in London wearing a haptic Tesla suit.
Speed-based 5G pricing
As part of the start of 5G, Vodafone is launching three new unlimited data plans for mobile customers, as well as a combined mobile and broadband offer. These new unlimited data plans will be available from 10 July on 5G and 4G. They are Vodafone Unlimited Max at GBP 30 per month with speeds as fast as the device and network will support, Vodafone Unlimited at GBP 26 per month with speeds up to 10 Mbps and Vodafone Unlimited Lite at GBP 23 per month with speeds up to 2 Mbps. Customers can add an entertainment pack for an extra GBP 6 per month.
Mobile customers can also get free access for three months to the Hatch cloud-based mobile gaming platform, add IoT devices for GBP 2-4 per month, and get a 15 percent discount on an additional line.
Vodafone will also offer three new Vodafone Red plans from 10 July with 5G support at no extra cost. These offer unlimited voice minutes and larger data allowances: Red 1 with 1GB for GBP 11 per month, Red 2 with 5GB for GBP 15, and Red 3 with 20GB for GBP 20 per month. It is also introducing 'Vodafone Together', combining home broadband and unlimited mobile data plans from GBP 43 per month, available by end-July.
Customers can choose from two 5G smartphones to start - the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 smartphone from GBP 50 per month and GBP 99 upfront and the Samsung S10 5G from GBP 62 per month and GBP 149 upfront. There is also the 5G GigaCube portable router from GBP 30 per month and GBP 100 upfront, which turns the 5G network into a Wi-Fi hotspot and can connect up to 64 devices.
For business customers, the operator introduced Vodafone Business Unlimited, which offers unlimited data and 5G at the same price as 4G from GBP 19.16 per month excluding VAT. The packages include Business Unlimited Lite, Business Unlimited (from GBP 21.66 per month) and Business Unlimited Max (from GBP 25 per month). Vodafone Business Unlimited is initially available to SoHo and SME customers, and will be expanded in the coming months to allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from 5G.