How fast is 5G?

10 April 2024

Contents list

  1. How fast is 5G?
  2. 5G network speeds
    1. Maximum 5G speeds
    2. EE 5G speeds
    3. Three 5G speeds
    4. Vodafone 5G speeds
    5. O2 5G speeds
    6. MVNO 5G speeds
  3. How to check 5G download speeds
  4. 5G latency
  5. Future 5G download speeds
  6. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

5G is rolling out across the UK on every major network, and brings with it far higher speeds than 4G with a theoretical maximum speed of between 10 and 50Gbps, according to the regulatory body Ofcom.

We’re not at that level yet, but reported peak download speeds have already reached at least 853.4Mbps (based on a RootMetrics report from the second half of 2023) and some networks claim that speeds of upwards of 1Gbps are already being experienced.

Average download speeds are currently up to six times faster than 4G and twenty five times faster than 3G, and 5G is already faster than fibre broadband in many areas around the UK. 

1) How fast is 5G?

Network type

Average download speeds

Peak download speeds

Theoretical maximum download speeds













Based on the currently available data from RootMetrics, Speedtest, Opensignal and other validated tests, across the UK’s networks you can expect average 5G download speeds of between roughly 70Mbps – 205Mbps. The exact figures will vary from network to network and place to place, but the averages recorded will normally to be in that range.

You can see both extremes of that in the April 2023 Mobile Network Experience report from Opensignal, which put Three’s average 5G download speeds at 237.7Mbps, and O2’s at 75Mbps, with EE and Vodafone filling out the middle. A slightly more recent September 2023 Opensignal report offered similar results, with Three offering the highest average of 205.5Mbps, while O2’s was lowest at 77Mbps.

We also have some median 5G download speeds, with Speedtest finding in the second half of 2023 that Three’s was highest at 226.27Mbps, while O2’s was lowest at 70.43Mbps. RootMetrics meanwhile claimed in the second half of 2023 that the highest median was EE at 174.1Mbps, while the lowest was O2 at 68.7Mbps.

That same RootMetrics report also found that Three’s 95th percentile 5G download speed (so close to the highest reported) was 853.4Mbps. That was higher than any other network’s 95th percentile speed in this test, and is also the highest verified speed we’ve seen.

For the 4G and 3G average download speeds in the chart above we’ve used the highest average speeds on Opensignal’s Mobile Network Experience Report from October 2020. We’ve used this older report because newer ones don’t include separate 3G and 4G data.

Currently, you can expect 5G to be between around 3 and 6 times faster than 4G on average, but in some cases that difference is much greater.

And 5G is set to get faster as time goes on, with theoretical speeds that could be hundreds of times faster than 4G, based on the 10-50Gbps estimate from Ofcom.

2) 5G network speeds

2.1 Maximum 5G speeds in the UK

While 5G is fast, exactly how fast will depend in part on where you are and what network you’re on, but we’re now getting a good picture of the general speeds you can expect. Below you can see details of actual maximum speeds that 2020 tests by Point Topic/Thinkbroadband have achieved with each network, along with more recent 95th percentile speeds from RootMetrics, recorded in 2023.


Maximum download speeds (via Point Topic)

95th percentile speeds (via RootMetrics)













At the time of writing, the results in the chart above are among the highest 5G download speeds we’ve seen reported for each network.

That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the fastest each is capable of, especially as the RootMetrics results here are the 95th percentile speed rather than the very top one (which wasn’t disclosed).

Still, the speeds in the chart above should be towards the very top end of what you can expect from these networks at the time of writing.

2.2.) EE 5G download speeds


Average UK-wide 5G download speeds of 99.5Mbps – Opensignal

Median 5G download speed of 174.1 / 94.79Mbps – RootMetrics/Speedtest

Maximum 5G download speed of 638.5 / 753Mbps – RootMetrics/Point Topic

EE 5G coverage checker

When it comes to EE’s 5G speeds, Point Topic and Thinkbroadband have provided a maximum 5G download speed of 753Mbps for EE based on its tests. This is an older report from 2020 but it’s the highest speed we’ve seen for EE.

However, in a more recent 2H 2023 report, RootMetrics puts EE’s 95th percentile 5G download speed at 638.5Mbps. That same report found that EE’s median 5G download speed was 174.1Mbps – though Speedtest in the second half of 2023 put the median at a much lower 94.79Mbps.

Finally, Opensignal found in a September 2023 report that EE’s average 5G download speed across the UK was 99.5Mbps. For reference, its average 4G download speed during an earlier test was found to be 33.1Mbps, making 5G around three times faster in this instance.

These average and median speeds are broadly in line with what EE has said to expect. Originally it had said to expect average speeds that are 100-150Mbps faster than 4G, with peak speeds of potentially over 1Gbps. More recently though in its ‘5G speeds explained’ article it’s made the more modest claim of over 100Mbps average speeds currently.

So based on all the available data, we’d say that EE’s average 5G download speeds are in the region of 100Mbps, while its peak speeds are at least around 753Mbps.

2.3) Three 5G download speeds

Three 5G

Average UK-wide 5G download speed of 205.5Mbps – Opensignal

Median 5G download speed of 165.7 / 226.27Mbps – RootMetrics/Speedtest

Maximum 5G download speed of 853.4Mbps - RootMetrics

Three 5G coverage checker

Some of the latest data we have on Three’s 5G speeds comes from Opensignal, which in September 2023 recorded its average 5G download speeds as being 205.5Mbps, which is higher than any rival.

We also have 2H 2023 data from RootMetrics, which found Three’s median 5G download speed was 165.7Mbps, and its 95th percentile 5G download speed (which will be close to the highest) was 853.4Mbps. The latter is the highest on test, while the former beats all rivals except EE.

Similarly, according to Speedtest data from the second half of 2023, Three has a UK-wide median 5G download speed of 226.27Mbps, which is also higher than any rival managed in the same tests.

Three itself hasn’t been very specific about what speeds you can expect on its network, but it has said that at the top end they could be up to twice as fast as rivals, due to it having both more 5G spectrum in total and more contiguous 5G spectrum. The above results in some cases live up to that claim.

Based on the data that we have then, Three’s recent average 5G speeds seem to be around 205.5Mbps, while its peak 5G download speeds are at least around 853.4Mbps, but likely higher.

2.4) Vodafone 5G download speeds

Vodafone 5G

Average UK-wide 5G download speed of 114.3Mbps – Opensignal

Median 5G download speed of 158.3 / 141.71Mbps – RootMetrics/Speedtest

Maximum 5G download speed of 545.6Mbps – RootMetrics

Vodafone 5G coverage checker

For Vodafone, Opensignal found in September 2023 that the network had an average 5G download speed of 114.3Mbps, while Speedtest and RootMetrics found in the second half of 2023 that its median 5G download speed was slightly higher at 141.7Mbps and 158.3Mbps respectively. That RootMetrics report also put Vodafone’s 95th percentile 5G speed at 401.8Mbps.

There’s also an older RootMetrics report, which found that Vodafone’s top 5G download speed in London was 545.6Mbps, beating every other network, and also beating other peak Vodafone speeds we’ve seen in other reports.

Vodafone itself has said to expect average 5G speeds of 150-200Mbps, with peak speeds exceeding 1Gbps. While its peak speeds in tests don’t seem to reach that level, its average speeds do seem to be broadly in that range, albeit towards the bottom end of that.

Based on the data we have it seems Vodafone’s average 5G download speeds are in the ballpark of 100-150Mbps, with peak speeds of at least around 545Mbps, and possibly higher.

2.5) O2 5G download speeds

O2 5G

Average UK-wide 5G download speed of 77.0Mbps – Opensignal

Median 5G download speed of 68.7 / 70.43Mbps – RootMetrics/Speedtest

Maximum 5G download speed of 301.2Mbps – RootMetrics

O2 5G coverage checker

For O2, a September 2023 Opensignal report recorded an average 5G download speed of 77Mbps, while a Speedtest report covering the second half of 2023 similarly put its median at 70.43Mbps.

O2 is also included in a 2H 2023 RootMetrics report, which found that its median 5G download speed was 68.7Mbps and that its fastest 5G download speed was 301.2Mbps, which is one of the highest 5G speeds we’ve seen recorded for O2 in any tests.

O2 itself hasn’t yet said much about its 5G speeds, but based on this data it seems that you can potentially expect average download speeds of between around 70Mbps and 80Mbps, with peak speeds potentially being around 301Mbps.

2.6) MVNO 5G download speeds

MVNO Network

Core Network

Expected Average 5G download speed

Expected maximum 5G download speeds

Asda Mobile












iD Mobile








Lyca Mobile




Sky Mobile












Tesco Mobile








As well as the main four UK networks, a number of MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) have also launched 5G services. At the time of writing those include Sky MobileGiffgaffTesco MobileAsda Mobile, iD Mobile, Lebara, Lyca Mobile, Smarty, CMLink, TalkMobile and VOXI.

Starting with CMLink and Lyca Mobile, while we don’t have much data on them, we can expect their performance to be similar to EE’s, since they share EE’s infrastructure. As such you can read EE’s section above for full details, but in short, their average 5G download speeds are likely to be around 100Mbps, with peak speeds potentially hitting around 753Mbps.

Sky Mobile, Giffgaff, and Tesco Mobile all use O2’s infrastructure, so check out O2’s section above for a picture of what you might be able to expect. Average 5G download speeds could be in the region of 70-80Mbps based on the data that we have, with peak speeds of at least around 301Mbps. Tesco for its part has said to expect average download speeds of around 200Mbps.

Then there’s iD Mobile and Smarty, which use Three’s infrastructure, and based on the various data we have so far these networks could have average 5G speeds of around 205Mbps, with peak speeds upwards of 853Mbps.

Finally, VOXI and Talkmobile are owned by Vodafone and therefore use that network’s infrastructure, as do Asda Mobile and Lebara. Based on the data we have for Vodafone then, you might be able to expect average 5G download speeds in the region of 100-150Mbps, with peak speeds of likely at least around 545Mbps.

Speeds in some cases could be higher though, as VOXI has mirrored Vodafone in claiming that its 5G download speeds average 150-200Mbps and top out at roughly 1Gbps.

We’d also take all these numbers with a pinch of salt, because – as the detailed main network sections above show – they’re extremely variable, even on a single network in a single city.

3) How to check 5G download speeds

Testing what 5G speed you’re really getting is easy, as a number of sites and apps will do the job. Before opting for any of them though make sure you’re actually connected to 5G rather than a Wi-Fi network or 4G. To do this, turn Wi-Fi off on your phone, and check for an icon saying ‘5G’ on your phone’s status bar.

Then, one of the simplest options to test your speed is simply to enter the address into your mobile browser. It will then instantly start a speed test. The main speed displayed is your download speed, but if you hit the ‘show more info’ button you can also see your upload speed.

If you’d rather use an app then one of the best options is Speedtest by Ookla, a popular app available on both iOS and Android. Once it’s up and running hit ‘Go’ and it will first test your download and then your upload speed.

4) 5G latency

Network Type

Milliseconds (ms)

3G Network

58.2ms (actual)*

4G Network

36ms (actual)*

5G Network

31ms (actual)** / 1ms (theoretical)

* Figures show the lowest average latency of any network according to April 2020 Opensignal data.
** Figure shows the median latency of the four main networks according to 2H 2023 Speedtest data.

Latency is how long it takes the network to respond to a request, which could be you trying to play a song or video or load a website for example. The network has to respond before it even starts loading, which can lead to minor but perceptible lag and is especially problematic for online games, as each input has a new response time.

Over 3G those response times are typically around 60 milliseconds (ms) and on 4G they’re around half that at roughly 35ms. The theory is that on 5G response times will ultimately drop to just 1ms, which will be completely imperceptible.

That will help with all the things we use data for now, but more than that it’s necessary for new mobile data uses, such as self-driving cars, which need to respond to inputs and changes in situation immediately.

As with speeds though, super low latency won’t be achieved on day one, with a 2023 report from Speedtest showing a median 5G latency of between 30ms and 33ms, for an overall median of 31ms. Specifically, EE had a median of 30ms, Three’s and Vodafone’s were 31ms, and O2’s was 33ms. 

5) Future 5G download speeds

As 5G evolves and becomes less dependent on 4G infrastructure, and more spectrum becomes available, estimates put download speeds at up to 1000 times faster than 4G, potentially exceeding 10Gbps, which would enable you to download an entire HD film in less than a second. Some estimates are more conservative, but even the most conservative put it at several dozen times faster than 4G.

Some incredible speeds well beyond today’s 5G speeds have already been seen. The UK’s 5G Innovation Centre achieved around 1 terabit per second (1Tbps) in a test environment. That’s roughly 65,000 times faster than typical 4G speeds and would enable you to download a file around 100 times larger than a full movie in just 3 seconds. However, such speeds are unlikely to be replicated in the real world.

Ofcom for its part sees 5G as achieving real world speeds of between 10 and 50Gbps, which is insanely fast whichever end of the scale it ends up at. These numbers are all very impressive, but what do they actually mean?

According to AT&T, at 1Gbps you can download 25 songs in under a second, a TV show in under three seconds, and an HD movie in less than 36 seconds. These rates are currently available over its fixed GigaPower ultra-fast internet service and it has indicated the same will be possible over 5G at 1Gbps. Qualcomm, on announcing its X50 5G modem in October 2016, said it would be able to download a 1.5GB film in two to three seconds, compared with 10 to 15 seconds at 1Gbps.

As speeds approach 10Gbps, film downloads will become near instantaneous, and with all this extra speed whole new use cases become far more viable, such as streamed console-quality games, 8K video, and even holographic content.

Even at the speeds people are getting now, 5G can rival fibre broadband, which is why we’re starting to see 5G home broadband services. Most conventional fibre broadband services only provide speeds of under 100Mbps, and even at the top end it’s rare to get more than 5G is theoretically already capable of, so based on the 5G speeds above, it’s a clear alternative.

6) Frequently asked questions

How fast is 5G in the UK?

Based on the available data, 5G in the UK seems to offer average speeds of 70-205Mbps – though that figure varies based on network and location.

How fast is 5G home broadband?

5G home broadband speeds are variable, and affected by your network, your coverage, your 5G router, and other things. That said, its speeds should generally be in line with 5G mobile (meaning an average of likely between 70-205Mbps). But peak speeds could be far higher than that. Three for example has said that its 5G broadband speeds top out at 1Gbps.

Can I do my own 5G speed test?

Yes, and there are many websites and apps that allow for this. One of the simplest ways is just to head to while connected to a 5G network. This will then automatically start carrying out a speed test.

Is 5G faster than Wi-Fi?

5G can be faster than Wi-Fi. It depends on what Wi-Fi is available to you and what your 5G signal is like, but it’s certainly a strong alternative.

Is 5G faster than fibre broadband?

5G can rival the speediest fibre broadband connections. Whether or not it’s faster depends on a number of factors, but in most cases unless you have access to the very speediest fibre broadband packages it probably will be.

How fast is 5G versus 4G?

5G is much, much faster than 4G. Average 5G speeds seem to be between 3 and 6 times faster than average 4G speeds based on the available data, with peak 5G speeds being far faster still.

Is 5G gaining importance?

Very much so. Demands for fast and reliable mobile connectivity continue to grow, and with them so too does the need for 5G. RootMetrics even found in an extensive survey that 85% of respondents believed 5G would help them or their company make more money, 84% believe 5G will allow them to share more content on social media, 83% believe it will allow them to work more flexibly from different locations, and 80% believe it will significantly reduce travel time and free up time for productivity. So there’s clearly a great appetite for 5G.

What is 4G LTE?

4G LTE is the generation of mobile technology that came before 5G. So it’s a lot slower but it’s also far more widely available. Even if you have a 5G phone and plan, you’ll often find yourself on 4G when you leave 5G coverage areas.

What is Mbps?

Mbps stands for ‘Megabits per second’ and it’s used as a measure of internet connection speeds. So the more megabits per second, the faster a network is. Note that it shouldn’t be confused with MBps (megabytes per second).

James Rogerson
About James Rogerson

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies (, and and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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Kevin Thomas has worked for companies AT&T and BT with 15 years practical experience in the world of telecoms. He has a HND in telecommunications.

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