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Sky comes to the UK 5G party

Telco, broadband and pay-TV provider switches on 5G services in 20 leading UK towns and cities with packaged based on Samsung devices

Following rapid expansion of the next-gen communications networks by the leading operators, Sky Mobile is to make its presence felt in the UK’s 5G arena.

The mobile arm of the telco, broadband and pay-TV provider has switched on 5G connectivity in 20 cities and towns across the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle and Bristol. Sky intends to roll out its 5G network to 50 locations by summer 2020.

In terms of devices, Sky Mobile will offer at launch 5G-ready phones including the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G and Samsung Galaxy A90 5G. More will be added in the coming weeks.

For packages that include 3GB of data per month and 5G for free, prices start from £28 a month for the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G, from £46 a month for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G or £48 a month for Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

The 5G service will be available free on top of existing 4G packages for any customer on Sky’s free loyalty programme, Sky VIP. For those who want more data for 5G browsing and streaming the 9GB plan is £12 a month. Customers not signed up to Sky VIP will get 5G free for one month and then pay £5 a month after that or can join Sky VIP at any time to get 5G for free.

All plans come with unlimited calls and texts at no extra cost, and Sky TV customers can stream unlimited sports, movies and TV shows through Sky’s apps without using any data.

Commenting on the launch, Paul Sweeney, managing director of Sky Mobile, said: “We’re excited to be launching superfast 5G on the award-winning Sky Mobile network, and even more excited to be offering it free to all Sky VIP customers. Sky Mobile is the ideal choice for anyone who wants a faster mobile connection and great value.”

Read more about 5G in the UK

Reaction to the move by Sky has so far been positive. Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at UK communications price comparison site uSwitch.com, said:This announcement by Sky Mobile is great news for its customers, and gives another boost to 5G across the UK. The network is offering 5G without an extra charge to customers on its Sky VIP loyalty programme, which is a free perk for existing users.

“If you are a Sky Mobile user, you may want to upgrade to the 9GB plan costing £12 a month, as 5G is going to guzzle data. Mobile phone users have taken time to warm to 5G, but the fifth-generation technology is slowly starting to build to a critical mass that could draw in the crowds.”

That critical mass was recently boosted by Vodafone, which on 14 January announced that in addition to extending its domestic network to major metropolitan areas in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it would begin to offer free 5G roaming in the Republic of Ireland.

It also revealed it had become the first UK company to introduce successfully 5G multi-operator radio access network technology to allow providers to share the same mobile base station, thus helping to reduce energy usage and the number of masts needed.

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