5G is the latest generation of mobile network technology. It gives you a better, more reliable signal in the busiest of places and much faster speeds than 4G. We’re building 5G where our customers need it the most – in the busiest spots of the busiest cities.
What you can expect from 5G
You’ll be able to use the 5G network in the same way as any other network; you’ll just need a 5G-enabled device. There are multiple benefits to 5G including:
Faster speeds and better quality
Better connection in busy places
Instant internet connection
Things you need to know
To use our superfast 5G network, you’ll need:
A 5G phone, tablet or mobile broadband device
A 5G pay-monthly phone or SIM-only Smart Plan
5G doesn’t use more data than 4G, but because it lets you do more, more quickly, you might find you’ll use more data as a consequence. For instance, on 5G you can download large business files in seconds rather than minutes, so you might download more data.
We’ve already launched 5G in six cities around the country: London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Manchester. Within these cities, we’ll be upgrading around 100 locations per month.
We’ll be launching 5G in another 10 UK cities throughout 2019: Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol. In 2020 we plan to launch 5G in even more places like: Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Wolverhampton and Worcester, with more locations TBC.
Other questions you might have
When will 5G arrive in my area?
After the initial launch in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester, we’ll continue our nationwide 5G rollout. Starting with the busiest areas of the busiest cities, 5G will get more widespread over the next few years.
You will get some restricted 5G coverage indoors, although the signal won’t travel as far as our 4G signal. We’re building 5G in the busiest places outdoors, and there will still be 4G as normal everywhere else so you’ll always be connected.
Why will 5G take longer to become available?
Our 5G spectrum uses a higher frequency than our 4G spectrum. As a result, we need to add more sites, making the upgrade more complex and logistically challenging.
And remember, 5G adds to our 4G network, rather than replacing it. You’ll be able to use both.
Is 5G safe?
In a word, yes. According to the World Health Organisation, there’s no evidence to convince experts that using mobile devices and masts is hazardous to health – this includes 5G.
We also adhere to guidance from the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) for all mobile technologies. This determines the exposure limits by which we must abide when transmitting. The ICNIRP is a cautious piece of regulation, to which we adhere strictly to keep everyone safe.
The UK Government also stated that: “while a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves is possible when 5G is added to the existing network, the overall exposure is expected to remain low, and well within the ICNIRP guidelines.”