The service is available in Milan, Rome, Turin, Bologna and Naples, with around 45 to 50 cities to follow in 2019, rising to 100 by 2021
The Italian carrier Vodafone announced the launch of commercial 5G services in five cities across the country. The service is available in Milan, Rome, Turin, Bologna and Naples, with around 45 to 50 cities to follow in 2019, rising to 100 by 2021. The company used equipment from Nokia and Huawei for the deployment of commercial 5G.
Three 5G smartphones are available now and by mid-June 2019: the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
Customers will be able to access the 5G network at no extra cost on Vodafone’s RED Unlimited Smart, RED Unlimited Black, Shake it Easy and Vodafone One Pro. Users on other tariffs will be charged an additional EUR 5 per month for the 5G service. Business users on “Black” plans will be offered 5G free of charge and those on ‘Red’ tariffs will have to pay an additional EUR 5 per month.
Vodafone acquired 5G spectrum in 2018 in the three pioneer bands. It bought 80 MHz in the 3700 MHz frequencies for 1,685 million EUR, 2×10 MHz FDD in the 700 MHz band for 683 million EUR and 200 MHz in the 26 GHz band for 33 million EUR. Licenses in the 3700 MHz and the 26 GHz frequencies are valid 19 years starting from January 1st, 2019 while the 700 MHz license will last 15.5 years from July 2022.
In February 2019, the active 5G network sharing deal between Vodafone and Telecom Italia was publicly disclosed. It comes after a passive network sharing agreement on 10,000 sites. The deal was designed to support a faster 5G deployment over larger geographic areas excluding urban areas, at lower costs.