O2 UK detailed plans to switch-on 5G in four cities before the end of 2019, meaning all four of the country’s operators have now confirmed a target of commercial availability in some areas this year.
In a statement, the operator said Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London would be the locations of its initial launch, with the remainder of the country receiving the service from 2020.
BT-owned EE aims to have 16 cities live with 5G by the year-end, while Vodafone UK has committed to a timeline, without detailing a list of specific locations.
3 UK aims to have 5G available this year and a number of trials are already underway, though the speed and scale of the rollout have not been disclosed.
Last month O2 and Vodafone expanded an existing UK network sharing partnership to include 5G, to speed deployment and lower the cost of rollout.
Alongside the launches, O2 is expanding its “5G innovation spaces” in its start-up hubs, to allow trials on a number of industrial applications of the technology. The operator has been talking-up the importance of 5G to the country’s enterprises and public sector, and previously tipped the technology to deliver a £6 billion boost to the country’s economy.
CEO Mark Evans said O2 is “working in partnership with British industry, encouraging businesses big and small to engage with the possibilities of 5G technology through both our testbed programme and launch deployment.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back