Where Is 5G Available in the UK? (Updated for 2023)

UK 5G rollout began in 2019

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The United Kingdom is one of many countries with 5G access. Depending on the provider, mobile subscribers can get 5G right now in major areas.

5G is a huge advancement over 4G when it comes to speed and latency, which is why it will improve so many areas of our lives, like vehicle communication, smart cities, mobile communication, VR and AR, etc.

Several companies have already launched 5G in the UK, but not in every city. Providers are rolling out the new network in the United Kingdom throughout 2023.

The UK flag and flag of Europe on a pole.

EE

Europe's largest 4G provider, and the UK's biggest network operator, might become its biggest 5G provider. EE launched their network in mid-2019, 5G is now live in over 50% of the UK population, and the plan is to cover the whole country by 2028.

EE's 5G Wi-Fi service can be used with the HTC 5G Hub. The data limit can range from 50 GB /month to 100 GB /month.

Use the EE Coverage & Network Status Checker to see if your postcode is within range of the network.

O2

On October 17, 2019, O2 rolled out 5G in a handful of cities as part of their plan to reach 20 cities before 2020. Their network currently covers around 750 towns and cities. Check current coverage here.

The company offers unlimited data on their 5G plans, and several 5G devices.

The network is also used by Tesco Mobile. They began offering 5G in March 2020 in parts of several cities.

Vodafone

Vodafone 5G originally launched in just a handful of locations on July 3, 2019, but has since expanded to include over 200 locations.

In 2017, Vodafone tested 5G in car-to-car communications; they made UK's first 5G holographic phone call in 2018; in October 2018, switched on a 5G trial in Salford, Greater Manchester; in December 2018, began installing antennae under manhole covers to pave the way for 5G; and in February 2019, connected Manchester Airport to their 5G network.

According to the company, 5G pricing is the same as using a 4G network. See their available 5G devices here.

Virgin Media

Through its MVNO partnership with Vodafone, Virgin Media also offers 5G services in the UK. The network went live in January 2021, in 100 locations.

With average speeds of 176.62Mbps, which is around 4.5 times faster than its average 4G speeds, Virgin Media’s 5G service is available to customers on a range of fast and flexible plans, including SIM Only and Pay Monthly, at no extra cost.

Three UK

Three UK subscribers who want 5G at home can subscribe to their 5G broadband plan, which provides unlimited data on a 12-month contract. Installation is performed via a plug-and-play hub.

Mobile 5G is available via monthly, SIM only, and pay-as-you-go plans. Here's the coverage checker, and you can view all their 5G phone options here.

BT

BT customers can access 5G in dozens of towns and cities, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Hull, Sunderland, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, and Coventry.

Other coverage areas include London’s Waterloo and Euston stations, Cardiff Central station, Glasgow’s Bath Street and St Enoch Square, Belfast’s Kingspan Stadium, and Coventry’s Council House and Cathedral ruins.

See BT's 5G coverage map for a visual look at where you can get 5G in the UK.

The BT Mobile 5G phones and plans page has more information on how you can access the network. BT Halo customers get double the data on any of those plans, with Smart Plans boosted to unlimited 5G data.

BT Mobile uses EE as its network coverage provider, so customers from both networks access the same coverage areas.

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile has 5G access in parts of dozens of cities, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough, Leeds, Leicester, Lisburn, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, Sheffield, Coventry, Nottingham, Norwich, Bristol, Derby, and Stoke.

See all locations in their coverage map.

Sky VIP members can get 5G free forever.

HMD Global

HMD Global has formed an MVNO to launch 5G, but it's unclear yet which major provider they've partnered with; this will determine where the service will be available.

Trials at 5G Innovation Center

Beyond the companies mentioned above that are actively testing and rolling out 5G networks, is the 5G/6G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom.

It's a testbed where researchers and partners can test and develop, in a real-world environment, any tech that could run on the next-gen wireless network. Their goal is to test 5G and 6G inside and outside, in urban and rural locations where coverage might be difficult, and places where there isn't already a mobile network set up.

In 2018, CityFibre and Arqiva announced details about the country's largest 5G small cell pilot trial in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The companies created a 15 km high-density fibre network which provides the bandwidth for mobile network operators to explore 5G.

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