5G is the latest wireless networking technology for phones, smartwatches, cars, and who knows what else. As you’ll see below, it has made its way around the globe over the last several years, but its journey is far from over. Some estimates forecast that by 2025, we’ll reach 3.6 billion 5G connections, a number expected to grow to 4.4 billion by 2027.
North America 5G
North Americans have been seeing 5G networks pop up in sporadic places for a few years now, limited in scope, mostly due to the elemental challenges of 5G networks. Estimates say that in 2023, up to 32 percent of North American mobile connections will be on a 5G network.
Rogers Communications began rolling out theirs in early 2020 after investing over $4 billion USD on 5G in 2019. The network currently covers over 1,500 communities. Learn more about the plans Rogers has for 5G to see when they expect a live network in different parts of the country.
Telus Mobility began rolling out their network in June 2020, in Vancouver, Montreal, the Greater Toronto Area, and other locations.
In December 2020, Videotron started offering its new network, beginning with customers in Montreal.
In late 2017, América Móvil announced the release of 4.5 networks in anticipation of a 5G release, which tool place in February 2022. 5G services launched in 18 cities, and according to Reuters, the plan is to expand to 120 cities before the end of the year.
Wireless provider Claro began testing 5G in Puerto Rico in 2019.
Altice is clearly working on a 5G network but there’s no mention on how to buy it or where you can get it. The only hint we have is on their website: “At Altice we are adapting ourselves to offer you all the benefits of 5G technology in the future.”
The president of Claro has said that their network is “fully ready for 5G, once the frequency bidding process is carried out, we will be able to offer true solutions that our customers can enjoy.” They currently offer GigaRed Claro which they say is a prelude to 5G.
In 2017, BTC announced that they were working with its providers on eventually launching 5G, and Attorney General Carl Bethel said in March 2021 that “5G is coming.”
However, no clear plan has been revealed publicly.
Central America 5G
Central America is seeing a relatively slow rollout.
There’s no word on when 5G will reach Honduras but this agreement is an important first step. Their first 4.5G site arrived in mid-2020, which is another stepping stone closer to a full rollout.
Grupo ICE showed public support for 5G in April 2021, but it’s unclear when a network will be available.
South America 5G
South American countries with the greatest populations began to see 5G come out in spurts beginning in late 2019.
Movistar and Ericsson tested 5G systems in 2017 and will likely roll it out to customers around the same time that Chile sees 5G.
Vivo’s network became available in eight cities by July 2020.
Claro is another company working on 5G. They first launched the network on July 14, 2020. It later became available in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other areas. Check that link for the most up-to-date listing.
Algar Telecom announced in late 2021 that it launched 5G service in parts of Uberlandia, Uberaba and Sao Paulo, with initial coverage reaching 40 districts in those cities.
ISP Unifique plans to launch 5G in June 2023.
Telefónica Colombia ran trials throughout 2020 and 2021.
…expand TIGO’s existing network and modernize the existing 2G/3G and 4G sites, making the network the best fit for TIGO to deliver 5G and IoT services in the future.
In mid-2021, Millicom, which operates under the Tigo brand, committed to a multi-million dollar investment to modernize its mobile network in Paraguay.
It’s not yet clear when customers will see 5G, but these are definitely good starting points.
The same Millicom/Tigo that operates mobile network services in Paraguay, does so in Bolivia. Its modernization deal with Ericsson includes bringing the 5G-ready tech LTE to the country.
The company will modernize its network with the latest Ericsson Radio System products and solutions, paving the way for 5G rollout across the continent. As part of the project, Ericsson will also replace Tigo’s core 4G package and implement Ericsson’s dual core 5G.
5G is live in a handful of areas.
These three South Korean companies collaborated to bring mobile 5G to the country on December 1, 2018: SK Telecom, LG Uplus, and KT. They started for select businesses only, but later opened up for others via the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
SK Telecom offers service via their four 5G plans. These plans arrived after trialing 5G in 2017 and using the new network in their self-driving test site K-City.
LG Uplus’ network went live in Seoul and surrounding locations, with LS Mtron as their first customer. Over 7,000 sites were deployed before 2019.
KT Corporation began their service with a pre-commercial offering at Lotte World Tower in Seoul and six other areas. In early 2019, they launched unlimited 5G services, and expanded coverage to a total of 85 cities by the end of that year.
KT previously collaborated with Intel to showcase 5G service at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, and plans to invest over $20 billion through 2023 in 5G and other innovative technologies.
According to the ICT and Broadcasting Technology Policy director at the Ministry of Science and ICT, Heo Won-seok, 90 percent of the country’s mobile users will be on a 5G network by 2026.
NTT DOCOMO is Japan’s largest wireless carrier. They’ve been studying and experimenting with 5G since 2010 and launched pre-commercial services in September 2019 before officially launching on March 25, 2020.
au launched their network on March 26, 2020.
Rakuten Mobile launched 5G on September 30, 2020, at 2,980 yen /month ($28 USD).
Three wireless carriers officially brought 5G to China on October 31, 2019: China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom.
SmarTone began offering theirs in May 2020 and introduced Home 5G Broadband later that year.
According to Ooredoo, a telecom company that has been working on implementing 5G since 2016, they were the first company in the world to provide commercial 5G access. In partnership with Ericsson, they’ve had a 5G home broadband service since 2018.
Zain announced their 5G launch in June 2018. There are lots of devices you can use, including Huawei routers, a Netgear hotspot, some Samsung phones, and others.
On the same day, just hours later, Ooredoo announced similar news.
STC (formerly called VIVA) is another company in Kuwait that has launched 5G services. You have to subscribe to a specific plan to use it.
United Arab Emirates
UAE 5G became available via Etisalat on May 30, 2019. There are several 5G phones available for purchase; see where you can access the network here. In late 2020, they opened up 5G services for home users on fixed-line networks.
5G is also available from du. They announced in early 2019 the rollout of 700 5G sites. Their partners include Nokia and Huawei. Check current and future deployments of the new network on their 5G coverage map.
You can also get 5G in your home (up to 1 TB per month) with Ooredoo.
Ncell rolled out commercial services in 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 5G services on October 1, 2022.
In 2018, one of India’s largest telecom providers (then called Idea Cellular) merged with Vodafone and is now called Vi. Vodafone was already preparing for 5G, having set up “future ready technology” in 2017 by upgrading their entire network to support it.
Bharti Airtel announced in early 2021 that their network is 5G ready. After awarding its first 5G contract to Ericsson in 2022, deployment began in August 2022. See the Airtel 5G Plus Coverage page for a listing of all the supported areas.
A test network was erected in 2020 from Cavil Wireless.
Anyone who attended the Asian Games in 2018 could have tried out 5G in Jakarta, Indonesia. A special Telkomsel SIM card was needed in order to connect to the network. It wasn’t until May 2021 that the network became available for customers.
Indosat Ooredoo launched 5G service in Solo, Central Java in June 2021.
Turkcell is Turkey’s largest mobile phone operator. In early 2017, the company completed a 24.7 Gb/s 5G trial with Ericsson, and in September of 2018 announced an agreement with Nokia to develop 5G technologies.
It’s clear that Turkcell is on the right path to providing Turkey with 5G, but it’s unclear when, exactly, customers can expect a live network.
In 2019, the company trialed 5G fixed wireless access solutions with Samsung in Istanbul. Turkcell’s CEO commented that:
Today, with 5G, we have shown that the latest generation of high-speed wireless access is now possible for our customers.
In early 2019, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) in Turkey approved 5G trials in Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara. The companies involved include Turkcell, Vodafone Turkey, and TT Mobil.
Turk Telekom is another company bringing 5G to Turkey. In October 2021, their 5G network was used with smart glasses to perform surgery.
In June 2021, VEON selected Nokia for network modernization of its mobile operator Beeline.
According to the country’s state-owned and largest telecom company, Viettel, 5G trials were run in 2019, and a commercial trial launched in late 2020. Late 2021 saw the company partner with Samsung for commercial trials in Da Nang.
Mobifone is another mobile network operator with 5G in Vietnam. Commercial 5G service first arrived in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2020.
VinaPhone users can access their 5G network in these locations.
There are a few mobile network operators in Iran, the largest of which is Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MCI). MCI currently offers “4.5G” internet, which shows that they’re on a path to providing 5G. They signed an agreement with Nokia in 2017 to develop the new technology, and in early 2021 confirmed that the new network was up and running.
Iran’s second-largest provider, Irancell, provides both mobile and fixed wireless internet services. A commercial network launched in early 2021 in Tehran. This followed their first 5G test at the same location in 2017 and another in 2020 with emphasis on scientific research and urban development. The plan is to quickly expand to other locations.
In January 2022, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh stated that the government would work with telecom operators to launch mobile 5G. In August 2022, TRC signed agreements with Orange and Umniah to introduce 5G services.
We’re also keeping an eye on Zain for updates.
In early 2023, Umniah announced Ericsson as its partner for the launch of its first phase of 5G deployment.
You can also get service through TrueMove H, via several 5G devices.
Several companies have launched 5G in Taiwan: Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecom company in the country, launched 5G on July 1, 2020. Taiwan Star followed in August 2020, and Asia Pacific Telecom in October 2020.
FarEasTone has deployed 2,000 5G base stations.
StarHub announced in 2018 that they, in partnership with Nokia, completed their first outdoor pilot of 5G on the 3.5 GHz frequency band. In 2021, they dialed the country’s first 5G SA call. See their 5G Network page for details on where you can get access.
Singtel has launched their network as well. Visit their website to see where it’s available now and where it’s headed.
5G from SIMBA (formerly TPG Mobile) has been available since late 2021.
M1’s True 5G network covers 95% of the country.
Smart has been testing 5G since 2016. They announced in 2018 the launch of 5G TehnoLab, and the network became available commercially in business districts of Metro Manila in July 2020, and then in all Metropolitan Manila cities in early 2021. See the current list of 5G locations here.
Globe Telecom has a 5G fixed wireless broadband service called Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G, offering speeds up to 100 Mbps and data packages as large as 2 TB. Mobile service is available in several areas.
Short and medium term, we are going to do the 5G FWA (fixed wireless access) as our means of providing that service, but eventually, we are going to fiber-to-the-home.
Although Bangladesh is one of the top 10 most populous countries in the world, it was very slow to roll out 4G and will likely also take much longer than other countries to implement 5G.
In late 2021, Nokia announced that it had been selected by Teletalk to deploy a 5G network in the country.
TashiCell launched 5G at the end of 2021, beginning in Thimphu Town, Paro Town, and Phuentsholing Town.
TM deployed 5G base stations in Malaysia Agro Exposition Park and some other locations in early 2020. These are FWA terminals that support speeds of up to 500 Mbps.
In early 2019, Maxis and Huawei and U Mobile and ZTE signed MoUs to collaborate on 5G deployment. You could use their service in Berjaya Times Square during a trial period, but it ended in 2020. The network isn’t up and running yet, but they do have 5G devices available.
Telenor Pakistan is looking into 5G as well, but no dates have been announced.
5G has been available in Saudi Arabia through Saudi Telecom Company (STC) since June 2019, but only in specific areas of major cities and only through home routers (no mobile option, yet).
According to the company’s CEO:
5G is considered as a very important step toward digitalization and connecting everything, which supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 toward economic diversification.
The 5G release took place months after the company reached a deal with Ericsson to launch it in the country. STC has also partnered with Nokia to roll out the network; they announced in early 2019 that the rollout phase had already started.
Another 5G provider in Saudi Arabia is Zain. Dozens of locations have 5G access, including Riyadh, Al Khobar, Dhahran, Tabuk, Hail, Sabya, Ahad Rafidah, Taif, Bisha, Najran, Qurayyat, Ras Tanura, Jaizan, Tabarjal, Buqayq, Jubail, and Hafar Al-Batin. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G and Axon 10 Pro 5G are a couple of Zain’s 5G products.
5G arrived in July 2019 when STC (previously called VIVA) launched their 5G data plans (the standalone network launched in May 2022). You can get mobile service from them with one of their 5G phones, or 5G at home with the 5G router. The service is available in areas like Reef Island, Amwaj Islands, and Riffa Views.
Zain launched their network on June 29, 2020.
5G in Kazakhstan isn’t coming as soon as other countries. However, according to Prime Minister Askar Mamin, it’s definitely in sight, calling for an “Action Plan for the implementation of 5G in Kazakhstan.“
Askar Mamin said in a meeting held in May 2019, that 5G is expected to cover all Kazakhstan settlements that have a population greater than 50 thousand people.
In October 2019, the VEON telecom company launched a 5G trial on a live network.
SLTMobitel has been working on 5G for years. In early 2017, they partnered with Ericsson with the signing of the 5G Island of Innovation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and in 2019, invested $50 million USD to roll out the new network in Sri Lanka.
However, they don’t yet have any 5G plans available for customers.
Service provider Smart Axiata will most likely be the first company to launch 5G in Cambodia. They were the first service provider to make 4G available in the country in 2014 and followed up in 2019 by showcasing the country’s first 5G live trial. They expect the first few years of their rollout to be focused on hotspots in major cities.
5G is available in several African countries.
Vodacom Group, which was the first to introduce 4G, 3G, and 2G in South Africa, is at it again with the release of a 5G. In May 2020, they turned on 5G in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town. Wider coverage is expected throughout the year.
Rain is another South African telecom that’s rolling out 5G. From November 11, 2019 and onward, Rain customers can access the network from home in parts of Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Cape Town, with more areas continually becoming available. Check 5G service in South Africa with their coverage map.
You can get fixed 5G access through Axxess through a few uncapped data plans.
Although a 5G release date for Egypt isn’t yet known, Telecom Egypt and Nokia agreed in early 2019 to introduce a 5G network.
Unitel has 5G plans but they’re not yet ready for commercial use. A 5G data call was successfully made in late 2021 that “showcases the massive potential 5G holds towards bridging the digital divide in Angola.”
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
The release date for 5G in the Congo is unclear, but according to Léon Juste Ibombo, the country’s minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, we know that the rollout will involve Applus and Congo Telecom:
Investments in Congo’s telecommunications sector are astronomical and the state needs credible companies to help it implement the digital economy ecosystem. This company will help our incumbent operator, Congo Telecom, to implement 5G.
Safaricom, in late 2020, suspended their 5G rollout to focus on 4G. In a quick turn of events in late March 2021, service was activated in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, and Kakamega. Nine towns were planned to be included in the early 2022 rollout.
Vodafone Group’s Vodacom Tanzania launched the country’s first 5G mobile network in fall 2022.
Vodacom Tanzania will deploy various sites in Dar es Salaam with a target to expand 5G technology to approximately 230 locations in the country, including Arusha, Dodoma, Mwanza, Iringa, Kagera, Zanzibar, Mbeya and more.
ZTE and MTN Uganda launched the first 5G SA network in Nyonyi Garden, Kampala, Uganda, on January 21, 2020.
In May 2022, Ethio telecom launched 5G services in Addis Ababa, at the Sheraton Hotel.
Vodafone Lesotho has a standards-based commercial 5G network available for two clients in the banking and mining industries. The network will be expanded to include other customers in the future.
Nokia and Togocom began deploying 5G in West Africa with the introduction of the network in the captial, Lomé.
Econet kick-started the first 5G rollout in the country on February 24, 2022. Visit that link to see where it’s available right now and which areas are scheduled to receive coverage later on.
Orange rolled out the country’s first 5G network in November 2022.
5th generation networks are live right now in some European countries, and others will get it during 2023.
Telenor, the country’s biggest telecom operator, launched 5G in Norway in March 2020, following early testing from 2017. These locations are just a few that currently have access to the 5G network: Oslo, Kongsberg, Elverum, Bodø, Askvoll, Fornebu, Kvitfjell, and Trondheim.
Telia Company is another mobile network operator in Norway that opened its first 5G test network in December 2018. In May 2020, Telia launched 5G for customers in Lillestrøm and parts of Groruddalen in Oslo. In June 2020, they began allowing 5G roaming for customers in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. November 2020 was when they began offering 5G FWA; speeds of up to 300 Mbps are supported.
On November 18, 2021, Ice turned on 5G in 14 sites in the Oslo area. Technology director, Jan-Erik Hvidsten, says “In the short term, we plan to turn on 5G in the 4-5 largest cities in Norway, the rest will also come later.“
According to the 5G Strategy for Germany, released by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), trial installations began in 2018 with a commercial launch in 2020. 5G is planned to be rolled out “over the period to 2025.”
Deutsche Telekom rolled out 5G in Germany in Berlin, Darmstadt, Munich, Bonn, and Cologne in September 2019. Connectivity is possible through devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Huawei Mate 20 X 5G. Over 3,000 towns and municipalities have access, and they plan to cover 90 percent of the country with 5G by 2025.
Another German telecom company that has launched 5G services in the country is Vodafone. They turned on their first 25 base stations on July 16, 2019, added Berlin a month later, and currently cover 10 million people with the new network. Customers can use 5G with a compatible phone.
Telefónica Germany’s O2 launched 5G in five cities on October 3, 2020: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, and Cologne. By early 2021, it operated in 30+ cities, and reached over 75 percent of the population in late 2022. They expect to cover the entire country with 5G by 2025.
Service provider United Internet AG is another 5G player, having taken part in a 5G spectrum auction in 2019.
The UK’s largest network operator, EE, was the first to launch 5G in the UK on May 30, 2019. Service started in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester, and the company now operates the network in dozens of cities and towns.
Vodafone UK is another big mobile telecommunications provider. After testing how 5G can be used in car communications and successfully completing a holographic phone call using 5G, they launched their fifth-gen network in seven cities on July 3, 2019. See the current list here.
Through an MVNO partnership with Vodafone, Virgin Media also offers 5G services. Beginning January 25, 2021, 100 towns and cities got access.
After announcing their commitment to invest billions in 5G, Three UK launched 5G, accessible first with a phone from Huawei. After testing 5G for home use, they also launched their 5G home broadband service in London. Three has a list of everywhere you can get their mobile 5G.
O2’s network is available in dozens of locations, including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Leeds, Slough, Leicester, Lisburn, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, Sheffield, Bristol, and other locations.
Tesco Mobile uses O2’s network and also began offering 5G to its customers in early 2020.
Sky Mobile launched 5G in parts of several locations, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough, Sheffield, Coventry, Nottingham, Bristol, Derby, and others.
Vodafone launched 5G in Italy in these five cities in June 2019: Naples, Bologna, Milan, Turin, and Rome. The company has since rolled out service to other places.
TIM (Telecom Italia), the largest telecom provider in Italy, made 5G available in Naples, Rome, and Turin as of July 5, 2019. Their new network went live in another six cities before the start of 2020: Milan, Bologna, Verona, Florence, Matera, and Bari. By 2021, 120 towns and cities were covered with their network.
Iliad began offering 5G services in late December 2020.
The first 5G network in Switzerland went live April 17, 2019, via Swisscom. It launched in 54 towns, including Basel, Bern, Chur, Davos, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich. According to Swisscom, more than 90 percent of the population is covered.
Swisscom offers several phones compatible with the new network, from companies like Samsung, LG, and OPPO. These devices will work everywhere there’s 5G service from Swisscom, through an inOne mobile subscription.
The country’s second-largest telecommunications company, Sunrise, has currently covered several hundred locations with 5G. They ran an ultrafast, 3.28 Gbps 5G test in late 2017, erected their first 5G antenna in mid-2018, and then in November 2018, made live their first standardized 5G network at a ski resort.
Salt is another telecom company with 5G in Switzerland. They revealed in January 2019 that they selected Nokia to upgrade their radio and mobile core network to provide mobile 5G services. The coverage map details where you can get it.
Vodafone Spain was the first to launch 5G in Spain. In June 2019, it became available to customers in A Coruña, Barcelona, Bilbao, Gijón, Logroño, Madrid, Malaga, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Santander, Seville, Valencia, Vigo, Vitoria, and Zaragoza. The service area has since expanded; see if your specific address has access with the Vodafone Mobile Coverage Map.
According to Vodafone, 5G speeds at launch could reach up to 1 Gbps. You need a 5G phone from Vodafone Spain to access the network.
Telefónica turned on their network on September 1, 2020. At launch, it was available in all the autonomous communities, and 75 percent of the population received access before the end of 2020.
MasMovil will have a 5G network as well but only just began their trial on September 9, 2020, in 15 cities. They’ll provide it through their Yoigo subsidiary and via Orange’s towers. See the coverage map for updates.
Magenta Telekom (previously called T-Mobile Austria) has been deploying mobile base stations across the country following a 110 MHz spectrum purchase in early 2019. Use their coverage map to see where it’s available.
Hutchison Three Austria and ZTE are deploying 5G in Austria, too. Their first business client was in Linz, and with 20 5G sites set up by June 2019, it marked Austria’s first city with continuous 5G coverage. Several locations are currently covered with the network.
Elisa Oyj opened a commercial network in Tampere in June 2018, claiming to be “first in world to launch commercial 5G.” According to their coverage map, the network is also located in Oulu, Kuopio, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, and other areas. See their unlimited plans that offer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps (they require a compatible phone).
Telia revealed in early December 2018, that Helsinki Airport became the first 5G airport in the world and their first customer using their pre-commercial network. In early 2019, they began commercial use of their network in three cities, and has since expanded to include several more. The company’s 5G SA core network launched in November 2021. See the Telia 5G devices you can buy right now for mobile and FWA 5G access.
DNA is another Finnish company offering 5G. They began a fixed wireless access service in December 2019. However, they say that even with the introduction of 5G, 4G will remain the primary network technology used by most people. In late 2021, they announced that DNA’s 5G coverage amounted to 114 locations, 50% of Finnish residences.
In 2018, Russia’s largest mobile operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), partnered with Samsung to run various 5G tests that included video calls, ultra-low latency video games, and 4K video streaming. These were performed to show that not only is 5G coming but that Samsung’s 5G routers, tablets, and other devices are fully capable of running on the network. They also opened a private network in early 2020.
According to GSMA, 5G networks will cover over 80 percent of the Russian population by 2025, so it can be assumed that a big portion of the country will have access even sooner.
Tele2 Russia, in collaboration with Ericsson, announced in 2019 that they’d deploy 50,000 base stations. In June 2021, they announced the launch of the country’s first 5G zone at Kazan Metro, an infrastructure facility. It’s also available at all subway stations.
4ka launched a 5G network in a test facility in 2019. Some of the places you can reach the network include Bratislava, Trnava, and Banská Bystrica.
In August 2021, A1 Telekom Austria Group announced that they’re extending their 5G footprint to also cover Slovenia using Nokia-provided 5G RAN solutions.
Vodafone is also working on fixed wireless access. In early December 2018, the company announced that they would begin trials for rural 5G broadband in Roscommon, Gorey, Dungarvan, and Clonmel, covering 20,000 premises.
Eir’s network is live as well, currently covering over 70% of the population. Its 5G locations include Dublin, Limerick, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork, Galway, Dundalk, and more. There’s a coverage map here that shows the new network and their 4G, 3G, and 2G coverage.
Imagine is another company bringing 5G to Ireland. They announced the launch of their 5G-ready fixed broadband network in February 2019 and built out hundreds of sites to cover over one million premises by the fall of 2020.
CEO Sean Bolger had this to say about their 5G plan:
As an Irish company, we are delighted to announce this significant investment and a new approach which will finally solve this problem and deliver much needed, fast and reliable high-speed broadband to homes, businesses and communities across regional and rural Ireland, today and into the future.
Three Ireland’s network is currently live in over 100 areas.
The first next-gen network was brought to life in January 2021 via Cytamobile-Vodafone.
beCloud completed testing 5G in the capital, Minsk, in late 2020. They claimed record speeds for the country at over 1.9 Gbps.
The Romanian government approved the 5G Strategy in June of 2019.
The 5G Strategy for Romania projects an action plan with concrete tasks and deadlines for deployment, targeting the launch of services in 2020 and 5G service coverage of all urban centers and major land transport routes by 2025.
On June 26, 2019, Vodafone Romania launched the country’s first 5G subscriptions.
Orange launched 5G in Romania in November 2019. Coverage started in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, and Iasi. See the Orange 5G coverage map for details.
VIVACOM was the first operator to bring 5G to the country. It’s available in the central urban areas of all 27 regional cities.
A1 Bulgaria launched 5G in the country’s capital Sofia in November 2020. The plan is to cover all cities of over 10,000 people with the network and offer speeds over 1 Gbps.
Telenor/Yettel rolled out their first 5G base station in the Science and Technology Park, Belgrade. It launched with the purpose of being used by national and foreign companies, startups, and students of technical faculties.
In 2018, mts debuted 5G tech at the Belgrade Fairground.
In late December 2020, the country’s largest tech company, OTE Group, launched 5G in Athens and other big cities. Over 50% of the country was covered by 5G by the end of 2021.
5G arrived in the Cyclades in July 2021 via Cosmote. At launch, it was available in several areas, including Anafi, Andros, Donoussa, Folegandros, Iraklia, Ios, Kea, Milos, Mykonos, Serifos, Schinoussa, and Tinos. With 60% countrywide coverage by December 2021, they reached another goal of 80% coverage by 2023.
Magyar Telekom, the largest Hungarian telecom company, launched 5G in Hungary in April 2020. Service began in parts of Budapest and Zalaegerszeg.
Vodafone is another company launching 5G in Hungary. In May 2019, they released the country’s first live 5G station in Zalaegerszeg, and they currently provide access in Budapest and Balatonfüred as well.
Hrvatski Telekom launched their network in 2020. Follow that link to see the current cities the 5G network covers, including a map and number of Croatians that have access to the network.
Another mobile operator, A1 Croatia, first entered the 5G scene by testing the service in Osijek. In August 2021, A1 started providing service in tourist centers and other areas.
A Tele2 5G network launched in Sweden on May 24, 2020. Stockholm’s inner city was the first to see it but dozens of other locations have access now and more will become available. Speeds of over 1 Gbps are possible.
Telia launched commercial 5G as well, on May 25, 2020. The network is available in Stockholm City Center, including Norrmalm, Östermalm, and Vasastan, as well as other locations.
Three is another Swedish 5G network available. You can see the different launch phases they have planned and where you can get 5G right now, on their 5G at Three page.
Telenor launched 5G in central Stockholm on October 29, 2020. With speeds over 1 Gbps, it started off reaching from Roslagstull to Skanstull, Djurgården to Kungsholmen. The plan is to complete the network expansion in 2023 and cover more than 99 percent of Sweden’s population with 5G.
T-Mobile Polska announced on December 7, 2018, the launch of the country’s first 5G network. It was initially available only in the center of Warsaw via five base stations, but now customers can connect to the network across its thousands of base stations.
Polkomtel’s Plus mobile phone network operator began offering 5G in Poland on May 11, 2020. The first 100 5G base stations, deployed in seven cities, covered around 900 thousand people. A Nokia partnership in late 2020 is another part of their nationwide rollout plan. By early 2021, the network reached 12 million people in all 16 provinces, and currently covers over 20M residents.
Orange is another mobile network operator that launched 5G in Poland on July 1, 2020. Locations include Warsaw, Łódź, Płock, Poznań, Wrocław, Upper Silesian Industrial District, Kraków, Kielce, Opole, Częstochowa, Rzeszów, and Bielsko Biała.
Vodafone brought Portugal its first 5G connection on December 12, 2018, via a 5G smartphone prototype from Qualcomm. The company also tested a virtual reality game and video call on Ericsson’s 5G network.
Dense Air launched 5G in Cascais, in the Lisbon District, in late 2020.
The country’s first 5G test network went live in December 2018 via Telia Company, TalTech University, and Ericsson, but it was just a testbed. Telia Company officially launched commercial 5G in November 2020.
The network runs through Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, and several other locations; see Telia’s 5G coverage and other details here.
One company bringing 5G to Latvia is Tele2. They launched their first 5G base station in Riga in July 2019, made their first 5G video call a few months later, have released 5G phones, and began offering their network in Daugavpils and Jelgava in early 2020. The network is available in 15 areas, and the plan is to reach 99% of the population.
In late 2021, Tele2 acquired the 700 MHz spectrum required for the deployment of the network.
Telia and Telenor also launched 5G in 2020, starting in Copenhagen and Aalborg and followed by Aarhus and Odense.
In early 2019, Azercell chose Ericsson in a two-year 5G deal to provide the telecom company with radio equipment and related services. In November 2019, they launched their first 5G test network, and in September 2022, announced that they were “getting ready for the deployment of 5G soon.”
KPN’s 5G network went live in July 2020, in parts of Amsterdam and The Hague to Southern Eindhoven and several areas in between. This, they say, reaches nearly half of the population. See their 5G map here.
Monaco Telecom customers have access to 5G across all the Principality of Monaco. Full coverage of the entire country was completed in July 2019.
Proximus is the largest mobile telecommunications company in Belgium. Take a look at their 5G network coverage map for all the details on where you can get service. You’ll need a 5G mobile subscription as well as a 5G phone that works on the Proximus network, such as the Oppo Find X2 Pro 5G.
Telenet, in March 2021, announced that it selected Ericsson, Nokia, and Google Cloud as partners for the rollout of their 5G network. The network launch date was officially revealed on December 1, 2021; with the first 5G zones located around Leuven, Antwerp, and the coast.
Melita has several postpaid plans that support 5G. You can pick anywhere from 4 Mbps to 200 Mbps, or opt for the “Top Speeds” plan for a maximum download speed of 1,000 Mbps.
Most major countries in Oceania saw a limited 5G roll-out in 2019 with greater availability arriving in 2021. Roll-outs are ongoing as of 2023.
Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company, Optus, launched 5G for mobile and home use on November 4, 2019. The launch involved over 290 5G sites in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and other locations in NSW, Victoria, and Queensland. See the Optus 5G coverage map for current details on their mobile and home service.
Telstra announced in August 2018, that they had enabled 5G technology in areas of the Gold Coast, giving the state of Queensland the country’s first 5G-ready network. They also enabled 5G mobile base stations in Adelaide, Canberra, and Perth in October 2018, and more later that year. According to the CEO, they erected 200+ 5G-capable sites before the end of 2018. See their coverage map for current details. Their 5G Home & Business Internet service launched in November 2021.
Spark NZ offers a couple of 5G broadband plans for service at home; visit that link and enter your address to see if it covers your area. They switched on the network for the first time in September 2019 for a limited number of customers. On July 29, 2020, they kicked off mobile 5G with Palmerston North as the first area with both fixed and mobile access.
Vodafone is another 5G player in New Zealand. They enabled 5G in parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown in late 2019; see the map here and their 5G-ready phones. In early 2021, the company launched 5G Broadband across those same areas.
2degrees officially launched their network in February 2022, available initially to customers in the central areas of Auckland and Wellington, and in limited areas of Christchurch.
According to SK Telecom, the plan has been to start the rollout in highly concentrated areas and places that don’t currently have fixed-line infrastructure. Coverage will then extend to wider areas.
Vodafone Fiji announced in early 2019 that 40% of their 3G base stations had been converted to 4G+ and pre-5G base stations to be “Future Ready” for 5G services, but 5G coverage is not yet available as of 2023. See the Vodafone Fiji Coverage Map for updates.
Digicel hasn’t yet announced any solid 5G plans.
Miguel Co / Lifewire