The last of the big four UK carriers to announce its 5G plans has now done so. O2 5G service has officially launched today, though with the same extremely limited coverage seen on other networks…

The company says that no premium will be charged for 4G access.

O2 today launches its 5G network with a range of new tariffs, including an unlimited data option, at the same price as its 4G equivalents. From today, customers can access 5G through O2’s revolutionary custom plans, giving them the flexibility to take advantage of 5G on their terms.

The company says 5G service will initially be available in six cities, and the usual caveat of course applies: You’ll only see it in a few isolated locations for now.

O2’s 5G network is launching in six locations across the UK: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough, and Leeds, improving capacity and reliability in key places. The network will initially switch on where it’s needed most, including busy footfall areas around London Waterloo and Kings Cross; Haymarket in Edinburgh; Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds; and Belfast South city centre; or in busy match-day hotspots around Twickenham or the Emirates Stadium. The network will be live in a total of 20 towns and cities by the end of the year, and 50 by summer 2020. 

All of O2’s plans come with “unlimited” phone calls and texts. O2 5G prices depend only on the amount of data you want, starting at £25/month for 5 GB to £40/month for “unlimited.” In all cases, “unlimited” means for personal use only and subject to an unspecified “fair usage” clause.

The CEO of parent company Telefónica, Mark Evans, described the launch as a significant one.

Today is a significant moment for our customers and our business as we switch on the O2 5G network. We’re launching with a range of tariffs that make it easy and fair for customers to access 5G, with flexible plans that cost no more than 4G. We’re also switching on 5G in important parts of towns and cities first, places where it will benefit customers and businesses most.

I believe 5G is going to revolutionize the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society. No one in the country has all the answers today, but I’m excited about getting it into the hands of our customers and working with leading partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.

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Photo: Shutterstock

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