In the US
Verizon surprised most of the world by launching its 5G network at the start of April 2019, making it the first globally to offer the next-generation network.
It’s currently only available in limited parts of Chicago and a few other locations, and there are just two handsets currently available to use on the new 5G network.
In Chicago, US we’ve managed to obtain speeds of up to 1.4Gbps, which is massively faster than 4G’s theoretical top speed of 300Mbps (although average speeds tend to be below 100Mbps).
However, 5G coverage is patchy and we had to move around the city’s various 5G masts to get this top speed. We did tend to get around 1Gbps quite consistently though.
5G in London, UK is more of a mixed bag, with speeds in our test ranging from 200Mbps to 550Mbps – still much quicker than 4G, but not the same level as we are seeing in Chicago.
AT&T has rolled out its 5G network to 19 cities across the States, but it still doesn’t offer any 5G phones – with your only option for now a 5G Netgear Nitehawk mobile hotspot.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile is yet to launch its 5G network in the US, but it previously said it would bring 5G to 30 cities, starting in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Las Vegas.
- T-Mobile 5G: what we know so far
In the UK
EE was the first UK carrier to launch its 5G network, switching it on in six cities on May 30 2019. It has promised to bring 5G to 10 further cities by the end of 2019.
It was followed by Vodafone on July 3, 2019, when it launched 5G in seven cities, rolling out to a further eight towns and cities on July 17.
Next up was Three, which launched a 5G service in London on August 19, however, there’s a catch – it’s initially only available for home broadband. However, it will be coming to mobile later this year, as well as to 24 more towns and cities.
O2 meanwhile is the only major UK network not to have any sort of 5G service yet, but it plans to roll 5G out in October.
- 5G in the UK: everything you need to know
- The best 5G phone deals in the UK
- The best Samsung Galaxy S10 5G deals in the UK
Telstra’s 5G coverage went live as of May, 2019, with the launch of the first 5G smartphone in Australia – the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
At the time, coverage was limited to 10 major cities and regions and, within those regions, was somewhat limited and patchy. This includes Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and Toowoomba.
The rollout continues, however, and coverage is steadily increasing. For a detailed and up-to-date map on coverage across Australia, check out Telstra’s dedicated 5G page.
Optus, on the other hand, hasn’t released any concrete timelines or roadmaps, although its official website does mention that it aims to have 1,200 5G sites built by March 2020, which could indicate a date for public availability.