5G Home Broadband – Everything you need to know

Since officially arriving in the country in May 2019, the UK’s 5G network has been slowly expanding. The service now covers around 30% of the country and new towns, cities and regions are being added to the network every year. In areas with good coverage, 5G is now so fast and so reliable that it’s become a good alternative to broadband. As the network expands and evolves further, it’s likely that an increasing number of people will opt for 5G over traditional broadband connections. If you’re currently looking for a new broadband deal, and want a connection that’s lightning fast, future proof and affordable, 5G could be a good option. To help you decide if this cutting edge technology is right for you, we’re taking a look at the benefits of 5G broadband, how it works, availability, and current providers so you have everything you need to find the best deals currently available.
Last update: October 2021

What is 5G home broadband?


5G home broadband gives homeowners access to ultrafast internet via the 5G network. Unlike standard broadband, 5G doesn’t come through the phone line but is supplied via local masts, just like the 3G and 4G internet that you get on your phone.
If you have a 5G router or hub in your home, you’ll be able to pick up this signal and turn it into WiFi. Others in your household will then be able to connect to this WiFi and get online.
Because 5G is significantly faster than 4G, you won’t really notice any difference between 5G broadband and standard broadband. In fact, in many areas 5G will be considerably faster than the standard fixed broadband service that was already in place. In the future, it’s likely that 5G home broadband will get even quicker, making it a viable alternative to even the fastest fibre optic connection.

Is 5G broadband any good?

While the 5G network is essentially an upgrade of the 4G network we’re all familiar with, it’s a lot faster and more reliable than its predecessor. Your connection is very unlikely to dropout or slow down suddenly when you’re using 5G. This. Means you’ll be able to watch HD TV, game and make video calls without a problem.
If you have a good signal and a good router, 5G broadband is just as good, if not better, than a standard broadband connection. It’s definitely faster than older ADSL broadband, so if the infrastructure in your area hasn’t been upgraded for a while, you should notice a big improvement in terms of speed and latency.
As the UK’s 5G network improves and expands, the quality of 5G home broadband should only get better. Many experts predict that the speed, reliability and affordability of 5G home broadband will make it the default option for the majority of homes and businesses in the UK. Even at the moment, 5G is comparable to most good fixed broadband services, so if you have 5G coverage in your area, it’s a good alternative to a traditional connection.

Is 5G faster than classical home broadband?

If you have a good 5G signal, it’s possible that this type of broadband will be faster than your existing connection, especially if you’re still on the old ADSL or FTTC networks. New 5G broadband can reach speeds of up to 20Gbps, although in most cases, speeds of around 100Mbps are more likely.

Is 5G faster than fibre?

If you have a full fibre connection (FTTP), you’ll probably be getting download speeds in excess of 100Mbps. Many people on full fibre can see speeds of up to 500Mbps. At the moment, this is comparable to a good 5G signal. However, it’s possible that both types of broadband will become faster in the future.

In comparison is 4G broadband reliable?

While the number of properties able to access 5G broadband is slowly growing, 4G is already easily accessible across the UK. In most cases, 4G broadband is reliable. If you find you don’t have a good 4G signal, your internet provider may be able to install a booster or signal extender to help you get a more reliable connection.

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Which suppliers provide 5G?


At the moment, the main 5G suppliers in the UK are Vodafone, Three, EE and O2. The table below shows a selection of the 5G deals currently available.

Supplier Data Cost
Three Unlimited From £29 per month
O2 50GB £29.95 per month
Vodafone Unlimited £60 per month
EE 100GB £75 per month


Women sitting on her couch looking at her phone

Is there 5G in my area?


Superfast 5G broadband is currently being rolled out across the UK. This process involves installing 5G masts and other infrastructure in order to provide people in the nearby area with a strong, reliable 5G signal.
New areas are being added to the 5G network all the time. If you want to know if your region is currently covered by 5G, you can put your postcode into a 5G tracker, like this one that can be found on the Three website.

Who has the best 5G network?

A number of mobile phone networks have been leading the 5G rollout. Among the providers with the best 5G coverage in the UK are:

  • EE
  • O2
  • Three
  • Vodafone

Of all of these networks, EE currently has the best coverage in the UK. As of October 2020, the company offered 5G coverage in 112 towns and cities across the UK. As BT piggybacks on EE’s network, it also offers its customers excellent coverage in large parts of the UK.

What cities have 5G UK?

At the moment, most 5G coverage is concentrated in the UK’s larger towns, cities and urban areas. Cities with good 5G coverage include:

  • Aberdeen
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Chester
  • Exeter
  • Hull
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Norwich
  • Oxford
  • Portsmouth
  • Sheffield
  • York

Will 5G replace home broadband?


Because 5G home broadband is so fast and so reliable, there’s a good chance it will grow to replace fixed home broadband in many parts of the country. At the moment, more households are able to access broadband than 5G. However, as the network is expanded, this is likely to even out, making 5G a viable alternative to fixed broadband.

Will 5G replace fibre optic?

Fibre optic broadband is also currently being rolled out across the country. This ultrafast internet can offer speeds of up to 900Mbps, with even quicker download capabilities coming in the future, this is likely to remain the fastest internet option for most UK home internet users.
However, the rollout of full fibre internet is slow and expensive. In order to get full fibre to people’s homes, new cables need to be laid to each individual property. 5G installation only involves erecting a new mast. While this isn’t necessarily cheap, it does mean that a large number of properties can be connected at the same time.
So, while it’s unlikely that 5G will replace full fibre optic internet completely, it may well become the prevalent internet service in many parts of the country. This is especially likely in remote and rural areas where laying fibre optic cables would be prohibitively expensive.

Which suppliers provide 5G


The main suppliers offering 5G internet in the UK are Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone. All of these companies are investing heavily in the 5G network and working to improve connectivity across the country.
However, a number of other networks also offer 5G contracts. These providers don’t actually build the network’s infrastructure themselves. Instead, they use the 5G put in place by the UK’s core providers and piggyback on their services. These types of network are known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).
Well known MVNOs include BT (EE), VOXI (Vodafone), Tesco Mobile (O2) and Sky Mobile (O2).
If you choose a reliable MVNO, the service you receive should be the same as it is for customers on the network MVNO is piggybacking on. So if you opt for a 5G home broadband package from BT, your coverage and signal should be the same as it is for local customers on EE’s 5G deals.

What are the best home broadband deals currently available?

Because the 5G network is still in development, it remains a relatively expensive alternative to standard broadband.
The table below shows some of the best 5G deals currently available.


Supplier Data Set up costs Cost per month
Vodafone 100GB £100 £30
Vodafone 200GB £50 £40
Vodafone Unlimited £50 £60
EE Unlimited £100 £55
Three Unlimited £0 £29


For example, Vodafone offers 100GB of data for £30 per month. On this tariff, you’ll also pay a £100 setup fee. If you want to double your data allowance to 200GB per month, you’ll need to pay £40 per month and £50 upfront while an unlimited package will set you back £60 per month and £50 upfront.
EE’s best selling plan is slightly cheaper, with customers able to pay £55 per month, and £100 upfront, for unlimited data.
The cheapest 5G home broadband deal currently on the market is available from Three. The provider is offering its 5G hub with unlimited data for just £15 per month for six months. At the end of this initial period, the price will rise to £30 per month.
There are no upfront costs and Three says that customers should expect average speeds of around 100Mpbs. That’s roughly equivalent to the fastest standard broadband speeds on the market.
However, 5G home broadband is still only available in a few areas. You’ll need to check with your supplier, or call SwitchBox, to see if 5G home broadband is on offer in your postcode.

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Can I get unlimited data on a home broadband deal?

When you sign up to a 5G home broadband package, you’ll see that some deals come with limited data. This means that there will be a cap on the amount of internet you can use each month.
If you choose a package with limited data, you may not be able to watch movies every day or make long video calls on a regular basis. This makes limited deals unsuitable for people who are heavy internet users.
If you don’t want to worry about the amount of data you use, opt for an unlimited 5G home broadband deal. These are available from Vodafone for £60 per month, from EE for £55 per month, and from Three for £15 for the first six months and £30 thereafter.


Supplier Data Set up costs Cost per month
Vodafone 100GB £100 £30
Vodafone 200GB £50 £40
Vodafone Unlimited £50 £60
EE Unlimited £100 £55
Three Unlimited £0 £29



How much does 5G cost?


At the moment 5G is still being rolled out and 5G home broadband is only available from a few suppliers. This means that prices are still relatively high and there’s not a huge choice of deals available on the market.
If you have 5G coverage in your area, you should be able to get an unlimited 5G home broadband deal for between £15 and £60 per month when you sign up for a 12 to 24-month contract. If you want a shorter deal or a one-month rolling contract, your monthly payments could be significantly higher.
If your area isn’t yet covered by 5G, you’ll have to wait a little longer until you can take out a home broadband package.

Can I get home broadband without paying line rental?

If you choose standard fixed broadband, you’ll need to have a landline installed before the internet can be connected to your home. You’ll then need to pay line rental for this landline.
However, if you opt for 5G home broadband, you won’t need a landline in place. This is because 5G routers connect to the network wirelessly, just like the internet on your smartphone. If you don’t need a landline, choosing 5G instead of standard broadband could therefore make your internet connection more affordable.

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Notice

FAQ

Can I get unlimited data on a home broadband deal?

All core 5G home broadband providers offer unlimited as well as limited data deals. In general, unlimited deals are more expensive than packages with limited data. However, as an unlimited plan will allow you to stream, game, shop and make video calls without worrying about how much data you’re using, they’re often well worth the cost for heavy internet users.

How much does 5G home internet cost?

5G home broadband deals are available for between £15 and £60 per month. Some of these deals require customers to pay setup fees of up to £100, so it’s important to check the fine print when comparing the cost of different packages. In general, the longer you sign up to a provider for, the cheaper your deal will be. So, if you’re not planning on moving house any time in the next few years, why not sign up for 12-24 months and get yourself a bargain?

How do I know if I have 5G in my area?

You can find out if 5G is available in your area by putting your postcode into the search tool on your chosen supplier’s website or by calling SwitchBox. Our expert team will be able to talk you through the 5G options in your area and help you find the deal that’s right for you.
Give us a call on 0330 054 0020

Where is 5G broadband available?

5G broadband is currently only available in towns and cities that already have good 5G coverage. However, as the network expands and new masts are erected, the number of locations with 5G coverage is likely to expand rapidly, allowing more and more people to get online.

Updated on 5 Jul, 2021

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william

UK Content Manager

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baylee

Journalist & Copywriter specialised in Broadband