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Vodafone's 5G network will go live from 3 July

The i logo The i 23/05/2019 Rhiannon Williams
a close up of a sign © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Vodafone's 5G network will go live in seven cities across the UK from 3 July, the company has confirmed.

Customers in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London will be the first to receive the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, ahead of 12 other towns and cities by the end of the year.

The telecoms company intends to become the first to offer 5G roaming in Europe, allowing its users to browse the internet, stream and download content over a 5G connection in Italy, Spain and Germany from the summer.

The Xiaomi Mix MI 5G was announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year (Photo: Xiaomi)

5G will facilitate super-fast download speeds between 10 and 20 times faster than current 4G mobile connections, and increased reliability and connectivity.

Customers wanting to use 5G will require a 5G-enabled smartphone to do so, such as the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G and new Samsung Galaxy S10, which Vodafone will sell alongside 5G plans from £50 per month.

The Huawei Mate 20X 5G would not be included among the initial 5G launch handsets, Max Taylor, Vodafone UK's consumer director, said, amid international concerns over the security of Huawei's devices and the equipment it manufactures for use in building 5G networks.

"With regards to Huawei handsets, we are only pausing pre-orders for the Huawei Mate 20X 5G in the UK," he said.

"This is a temporary measure while uncertainty exists regarding new Huawei 5G devices. We will keep this situation under review."

Rival network EE announced its intentions to switch on its own 5G network on 30 May during an event on Wednesday, also saying it would not sell 5G-enabled Huawei devices until it had "a bit more information."

Vodafone's 5G deals Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G Available now from £50 per month and £99 upfront Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Available to pre-order from £58 per month and £149 upfront

Google, British chipmaker ARM and Panasonic have all confirmed suspension of their business with Huawei after the Chinese telecoms giant was added to the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List, an index of companies and people deemed a threat to American security  last week.

a close up of a cell phone © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Inclusion on the list restricts US firms from trading with the company unless they're granted a licence to do so.

Customers who purchase a 5G-enabled smartphone in advance of the network being switched on will be able to use it over a 4G connection in the meantime.

A 5G-enabled smartphone using a 5G connection will reportedly be able to download an entire HD film in less than a second. While official estimates vary, the most optimistic projections expect 5G's download speeds at up to 1,000 times faster than 4G, with conservative estimates marking it at several dozen times quicker.The technology will be used by driverless cars and smart home appliances and frameworks to share information as well as smartphones and other consumer electronics to stream and download films, videos and music.Ofcom has worked alongside European spectrum regulators to identify the radio frequency bands which will enable the use of 5G across Europe, known as spectrum, which telecoms companies have bid for.
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