Vodafone launches limited 5G services in 20 German cities and towns

Vodafone is following a dual vendor strategy for its 5G networks; given its security concerns consumer data could probably be at stake especially if it is routed through Chinese servers.

On Tuesday, Vodafone stated it was launching 5G services in Germany. The development sees Vodafone offering cheaper deals than industry leader Deutsche Telekom; its services also cover more cities than Deutsche Telekom.

Vodafone, which has already launched limited 5G services in Britain, its home market, has switched on its 5G antennae in twenty German cities and towns; in comparison Deutsche Telekom expects to cover as many cities and towns only next year.

Vodafone is offering new 5G deals for smartphone users starting at $16.80 (14.99 euros) a month for the first year. Its unlimited 5G data plan costs 80 euros, 5 euros less than Deutsche Telekom’s deal.

“We are democratising 5G,” said Vodafone’s Germany chief Hannes Ametsreiter in a statement. “With us, 5G isn’t just a technology only for high earners.”

5G offers 10 times faster downloads compared to its predecessor while limiting latency to milliseconds.

According to Vodafone, its “5G services would actually be available to consumers faster than Deutsche Telekom’s, with existing customers able to switch plans from Wednesday at a monthly cost of 5 euros or, for some high-end tariffs, for free”.

Vodafone is also marketing 5G-enabled smartphones, including the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G; it is also selling the selling Huawei’s Gigacube 5G home router.

It is not clear how consumers will be affected by Vodafone’s move especially given Huawei-related privacy concerns. The Chinese company has come under intense global scrutiny because of security risks.

In this context, Vodafone said, it will continue to pursue a dual vendor strategy for its networks, and will use Ericsson and Huawei’s equipment for its 5G network.

In a statement, Vodafone said, its “5G network will cover 25 cities, 25 municipalities and 10 industrial parks by the end of this year. It will reach 10 million users by the end of 2020, and 20 million by the end of 2021”.

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