The last of Australia’s major telcos is turning the next generation of mobile connectivity on, as Vodafone customers wake up to support for 5G. Ish.
While Telstra and Optus started letting consumers take advantage of 5G networks last year, Vodafone is running a little late, but will see support for 5G this year, as the technology spreads across the country, starting with Western Sydney first.
Parramatta gets the technology first, meaning if you’re a Vodafone customer with a 5G phone out in that neck of the woods, you should see a 5G connection waiting for you today.
Vodafone has said it will stock 5G phones this week, too, starting with the Galaxy S20 range, which means 5G access should be within reach of every telco, even if the locations are limited.
Telstra may have the most 5G reach right now, followed by Optus, with Vodafone’s 5G only hitting one portion of Sydney, though should see more reach later in the year. As such, Vodafone doesn’t yet have coverage maps, but the company has said they’ll be added “as new 5G areas are launched”.
As to when that is, Vodafone is rolling out the first 5G sites across Australia now, with the first case consisting of more than 650 5G sites, set to be progressively rolled out to parts of almost every major Australian city, including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and Canberra. These will start to go live from the middle of the year, with more Vodafone 5G being switched on across the country over time.
Perhaps the good news here is that unlike at least one of its rivals, 5G won’t be an added cost.
“When 5G arrives to our customers with 5G devices, they will get 5G network access at no extra charge,” said Iñaki Berroeta, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone.
It’s a benefit that will also be connected to Vodafone’s $5 Roaming, which will extend to 5G services while customers are away in the near future.
“In the coming months, we will be leading international roaming into the next generation of mobile technology by combining the great value of our $5 Roaming product with a 5G network experience in five of Australia’s favourite travel destinations,” he said.
Those destinations include the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Germany, with Vodafone set to add more 5G supported countries to its $5 Roaming later on.
As for how you get that Vodafone 5G now, you’ll want a 5G device of sorts, just make sure it’s an unlocked 5G phone, otherwise it’ll look for the original telco you bought it from.