5G was launched in the UK on 30th May, 2019 by EE in 6 cities. Vodafone is following closely behind with its 5G network launch confirmed for 3rd July. Both Three and O2 have confirmed their 5G launches will take place in 2019.
The current position of each network - including launch dates and locations, launch devices and details of their network and trials - can be seen by following the link for the relevant operators below.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
There are quite a few MVNOs in the UK. These provide mobile services via one of the five main operators above. As such it is not possible for the MVNOs to launch 5G prior to the main operators and in fact there is likely to be a hefty delay before most MVNOs launch 5G.
Other than Sky Mobile - which plans to launch at the same time as O2 - none of the MVNOs have so far outlined if or when they will be launching 5G, and it should be noted that the main operator and the MVNO have to both agree this via contract.
The most popular MVNOs and some further details for each can be found by following the read more links below.
- ASDA mobile - read more
- FreedomPop - read more
- Giffgaff - read more
- iD Mobile - read more
- Lycamobile - read more
- Plusnet - read more
- SMARTY - read more
- Sky Mobile - read more
- Tesco Mobile - read more
- Virgin Mobile - read more
- VOXI - read more
Even at launch there is no way that 5G will be available nationwide. Rather, it will initially come to a few cities and likely only in certain parts of those cities.
Our guesstimate would be not to expect full nationwide 5G coverage for 4 to 5 years. But that might not be a big problem, as in most of the areas where you won't initially be able to get 5G you can still get 4G, which is pretty fast.