Both carriers have already flipped on their 5G switches in select cities, however, what remains a major challenge is the availability of 5G phones that can actually take advantage of this speedy network.
So far, the only 5G phones confirmed for the U.S. market are Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, and perhaps the Motorola Moto Z3 through the 5G Moto Mod. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to buy either phone once available due to carrier exclusivity reasons.
Interestingly, the story is a little different on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, with those in the UK set to pick from up to five 5G-ready phones when the network begins rolling out in the country.
So far, Vodafone UK and EE UK have been quite open about the arrival of 5G on the networks. The former says 5G rollout begins on July 3rd, but only seven cities will be covered in the initial rollout (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London), with 12 more cities to follow later this year (Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton).
Vodafone also says 5G roaming services will be available in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK as well, although this will have to wait until the summer. What’s more interesting is Vodafone says no extra charges will be levied towards using 5G services.
Although EE isn’t giving us any specific date, the company was at the recent OnePlus event to reveal that it will carry the new OnePlus 7 Pro 5G when it arrives.
— OnePlus UK (@OnePlus_UK) May 14, 2019
EE says 5G will first be available in four UK cities namely London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast; with Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, and Bristol to follow later in the year.
In total, the UK should have at least five 5G Android phones by the end of the year, excluding the Galaxy Note 10. The phones in question are Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G (availability begins on May 23, 2019), Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Huawei Mate 20 X (pre-orders open later this month), Huawei Mate X 5G (summer launch), and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G (coming soon). Apart from the latter, the rest will be sold through Vodafone UK.
Related: 5G Android Phones – Device list