O2 5G network will launch later this year

The network is the last of the UK's major providers to reveal it plans to launch 5G this year

O2 has announced its 5G network will hit parts of the UK this year, making it the latest UK mobile provider to announce the general availability of the next generation of mobile broadband.

The 5G service will launch in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, with other areas benefiting from speeds of up to 10Gbps as devices become more mainstream.

O2 is focusing on the 5G benefits to business with its 5G promotion campaign, stressing that it's working with businesses to promote the benefits of 5G tech within their organisation.

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"5G is a promise of so much more for consumers, business, industry and public services," said Mark Evans, CEO, Telefnica UK. "O2 is working in partnership with British industry, encouraging businesses, big and small, to engage with the possibilities of 5G technology through both our testbed programme and launch deployment."

Part of O2's mission is to introduce 5G innovation spaces to allow businesses to test 5G implementations and use its 5G services for research and product development opportunities.

"5G will benefit customers from launch, with better speeds and improved customer experience," Evans added. "Following the demand from our FTSE 100 trials, we are extending our testbed opportunities so that businesses of all sizes can work us to build the 5G Economy.

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"Mobile is one of the UK's most powerful opportunities to strengthen our economy and improve the lives of British people and 5G is a significant milestone for this nation."

Three has also revealed its 5G network will launch in some of the UK's biggest cities this year, with Vodafone and EE also reporting their upgraded networks will start rolling out in 2019.

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