Telstra and Optus both joined 5G in 2019, so when will the last of the big three telcos get it? Next year, it seems.
If you’ve been wondering when Vodafone would join the high-speed world of 5G, the answer may actually be sooner than you think.
While Telstra had it first, followed by Optus later in 2019, Vodafone has made an announcement of when it will be getting its own taste of 5G, and with less than 48 hours left of this year, it couldn’t be more timely.
One of Australia’s biggest telcos, Vodafone’s announcement not only says that it will be partnering with Nokia to make it happen, but that it will flip the switch on a 5G network within the first half of 2020.
“This is an exciting milestone in Vodafone’s 5G network rollout,” said Iñaki Berroeta, Chief Executive Officer for Vodafone.
“We have worked with Nokia for several years across different elements of our network,” he said. “They presented a compelling roadmap that aligned with our 5G objectives and will help us to continue improving our 4G network for our customers.”
The news means by the time the next crop of 5G phones make their way out in February through to April, they should be compatible with Vodafone’s new network, which should mean high-speed downloads will be in reach of users of both of the telcos. It could also mean the smaller virtual operators that leverage the use of these telcos could see 5G support in the years to come, as Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone allow greater speeds to be used on these networks.
“We have been preparing for the evolution of 5G for a long time,” said Berroeta. “Our focus has always been to deliver the best possible mobile service for our customers.”
“With 5G devices only just starting to become more widely available, now is the right time to start rolling out 5G,” he said.
As for when Vodafone will officially flip the switch to its 5G network, the company hasn’t said beyond that it “plans to begin the rollout of its 5G services in the first half of 2020”. However it is possible that Vodafone will start to switch it on in parts of Australia amidst the release of other 5G devices, such as an upcoming Samsung Galaxy model, possibly the replacement to the Galaxy S10 rumoured to be named either the Galaxy S11 or Galaxy S20.
Otherwise, we imagine the 5G Vodafone network will go live by June or July. When it does, at least there shouldn’t be a shortage of 5G handsets to choose from, though you shouldn’t expect a 5G iPhone until September at the earliest.