Vodafone 5G coverage and roll-out

Vodafone 5G coverage

Vodafone 5G is available now in numerous locations. In this document we cover: how to check Vodafone coverage, where Vodafone 5G coverage is rolling out in the coming months and what locations are scheduled to get Vodafone 5G during 2020.

Contents list

  1. Vodafone 5G Coverage
    1. ​Vodafone coverage checker
    2. Cities with Vodafone 5G now?
    3. Locations getting 5G next?
    4. Comparison to other networks
  2. Vodafone 4G Coverage
  3. 5G roaming abroad
  4. Vodafone 5G Network Speeds
  5. Vodafone's 5G Spectrum

Vodafone 5G coverage

Vodafone launched its 5G network on July 3rd and became the second mobile operator to launch 5G in the UK.

5G was available in 7 cities at launch and more recently, on 16th July, the operator launched 5G in a further 8 locations. Currently Vodafone 5G is only available in parts of 15 UK towns and cities, and coverage probably won't be comprehensive for years - but that's in line with rivals.

The network plans to launch 5G in at least 7 other locations during 2019, with yet more sure to follow in 2020.

Vodafone coverage checker

Vodafone has an online coverage tool where you can enter your postcode to get an accurate estimation of the 5G coverage in your area. We recommend that you check coverage in your area before buying a 5G phone or plan, as it isn't initially widely available.

Vodafone’s coverage map also shows 4G, 3G and 2G coverage, any available Vodafone Wi-Fi hotspots in the area, and can even give you an estimate of the speeds you can expect with each data type. Just tap on the ‘data speed info’ button to see this once you’ve entered a location or post code.

CHECK COVERAGE

Which cities have Vodafone 5G now?

Cities with  Vodafone 5G now

Birkenhead

Birmingham

Bolton

Bristol

Cardiff

Gatwick

Glasgow

Lancaster

Liverpool

London

Manchester

Newbury

Plymouth

Stoke-on-Trent Wolverhampton  

Vodafone 5G is currently available in parts of Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bolton, Bristol, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow, Lancaster, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newbury, Plymouth, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton, making for 15 major locations overall.

Don’t expect to get 5G coverage everywhere in these places – it’s likely to be best in the busiest parts, but will be improving over time, as well as spreading to other towns and cities.

What locations will Vodafone 5G roll out to next?

Vodafone has confirmed it will bring 5G to a further 7 major locations before the end of 2019.

Cities getting Vodafone 5G in 2019

Blackpool

Bournemouth

Guildford

Portsmouth

Reading

Southampton

Warrington

-

Vodafone hasn’t yet said which locations will get 5G beyond 2019, but we’ll update this section as soon as we hear anything. Note however that smaller and more rural locations are likely to be waiting longer than large towns and cities.

Of course, as well as new towns and cities we’d also expect coverage to quickly improve in the cities that already have Vodafone 5G.

Vodafone has previously said that it expects a similar speed rollout to 4G, with around 50% of devices getting a 5G connection by the mid-2020s. That could put it behind Three, as that network has said that over the next three years it expects 5G to cover 80% of its network traffic.

Towns and Cities getting Vodafone 5G in 2020

TBC

-

-

-

How does Vodafone's 5G coverage compare to other mobile networks?

There are currently 19 major towns and cities with 5G coverage from at least one UK mobile network. Vodafone 5G coverage is currently available in 15 major locations, EE has 9 major locations (plus 11 unlisted smaller ones), and Three currently only offers 5G Home Broadband in London.

UK 5G Coverage

City

EE

Vodafone

Three

O2

Belfast

-

-

Birkenhead

-

-

Summer 2020

Birmingham

Early 2020

Summer 2020

Bristol

Early 2020

End of 2019

Bolton

-

Early 2020

-

Cardiff

Early 2020

Coventry

-

-

-

Edinburgh

-

Early 2020

Gatwick

-

-

-

Glasgow

Early 2020

Summer 2020

Lancaster

-

-

-

Leeds

End 2019

-

Early 2020

Leicester

-

-

-

Liverpool

Early 2020

Summer 2020

London

Manchester

Early 2020

Summer 2020

Newbury

-

-

Summer 2020

Plymouth

2020

-

Summer 2020

Stoke-on-Trent

-

-

End of 2019

Wolverhampton

Early 2020

Summer 2020

Coverage Checker

Check Coverage

Check Coverage

Check Coverage

Check Coverage

4G Coverage

If you’re not in a 5G coverage area, then you’ll be using 4G or 3G. Vodafone has around 99% UK population coverage with 4G, along with around 99% with both 3G and 2G. That puts it roughly in line with rivals.

Below you’ll find a 4G coverage comparison between Vodafone and the other main UK networks, based on the latest available data.

UK 4G Coverage (2019)

Network

4G population coverage

EE

>99% (check coverage)

Three

99.8% (check coverage)

Vodafone

99% (check coverage)

O2

99% (check coverage)

 

5G Roaming Abroad

Vodafone has also launched a 5G roaming service, so you can use 5G abroad at no extra cost.

At the time of writing you can get 5G in 55 towns and cities across Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK if you're on Vodafone, making for more places than any other UK network.

In Italy 5G roaming is currently available in Milan, Rome, Turin, Naples and Bologna.

In Spain you can get it in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Zaragoza, Pamplona, Bilbao, La Coruña, Vigo, Vitoria, San Sebastián, Gijón, Logroño and Santander.

And in Germany it's available in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Dortmund and Munich (seemingly among other unconfirmed locations), while Berlin and Frankfurt should now have access to 5G on Vodafone too.

With no other networks yet announcing 5G roaming plans, this could be one way that Vodafone has an early 5G advantage. These are real 5G speeds too - in a test, Vodafone showed off top download speeds of 700Mbps in Madrid.

5G Network Speeds

Vodafone claims that its 5G speeds will average 150-200Mbps, with peak speeds of 1Gbps. That’s roughly comparable to EE, and according to Vodafone means you’ll be able to download a full HD film in around 3 minutes, compared to over 15 minutes on 4G.

Indeed, Vodafone’s 4G speeds tend to average around 25.1Mbps based on data from Opensignal. Even peak 4G speeds in the UK tend to be under 100Mbps, and 3G speeds are slower still. So 5G should is a significant speed upgrade from day one.

That said, another Opensignal report found that the 5G speeds on any UK network between April-September 2019 maxed out at 599Mbps, so Vodafone’s 1Gpbs peak speed claims might be optimistic for now.

Latency

Latency is how long the mobile network takes to respond to a request. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms), so it’s usually an almost imperceptible amount of time, but while on 4G networks it’s often around 40-50ms, with 5G it’s expected to get as low as 1ms.

This will help everything feel smoother and more instantaneous, which will benefit day to day things like online gaming and loading streamed videos, but also help enable new use cases.

Vodafone hasn’t yet said what latency to expect on its 5G network, but you can expect it to be low. We’ll update this section with exact numbers once we have some.

Vodafone’s 5G Spectrum

Vodafone's 5G spectrum holding as compared to rivals can be viewed in the chart below.

EE 5G spectrum ie frequency bands

The chart above was created by Three, and the line at 100MHz signifies the amount of contiguous 5G spectrum required for ‘true’ 5G according to the ITU (the global standards body on 5G technology).

So based on this Vodafone is in the second best position spectrum-wise (albeit a distant second). Note though that Vodafone should have plenty of opportunities to acquire more spectrum, as Ofcom is set to auction off some in the 3.6GHz – 3.8GHz range and the 700MHz band at some point.

Spectrum in the 8GHz and 26GHz bands is also being freed up, and Ofcom is also planning to look into other frequency bands that might have auctionable spectrum suited to 5G.

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