Mobile phone bills to soar when 5G network is launched this year
2nd March 2019

Mobile phone bills set to soar when 5G high-speed network is launched this year

  • Customers may have to pay up to £2,000 to replace their incompatible mobile
  • Monthly charges for 5G are expected to be higher than existing packages 
  • UK’s biggest mobile operators paid almost £1.4b to buy the airwaves for 5G

Mobile phone bills could rise sharply when the 5G high-speed network is launched this year.

Existing handsets will not work with this technology, meaning customers may have to part with up to £2,000 to replace their mobile.

And monthly charges for accessing the 5G service are expected to be higher than existing packages, despite the fact the UK is already one of the costliest countries in Europe for smartphone mobile data.

Existing handsets will not work with the 5G technology, meaning customers may have to part with up to £2,000 to replace their mobile (stock image)


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Monthly charges for accessing the 5G service are expected to be higher than existing packages, despite the fact the UK is already one of the costliest countries in Europe for smartphone mobile data (stock image)

The UK’s biggest mobile operators – Vodafone, O2, Three and EE, which is owned by BT – paid almost £1.4billion in an auction to buy the airwaves to run 5G services. At the same time, they are spending heavily on masts and infrastructure to carry the new signals. Consequently, they will be pushing for high prices to make back their money.

EE has pledged to bring 5G to London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester soon, adding another ten cities by the end of the year – but rival networks are racing to launch their own services.

The 5G network promises download speeds equivalent to the average delivered by home broadband and wifi systems.

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