BT is switching on its 5G network in Autumn

Image credit: BT (Image credit: BT)

BT has just confirmed that it will be launching its 5G service at some point in Autumn, with coverage expected in parts of 16 cities by the end of 2019.

BT owns EE and uses the same infrastructure, so coverage will be the same too, meaning the 16 cities in question will be London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.

It's not clear how many of them will have 5G coverage at launch, but at a minimum, parts of London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester will, as they already have partial 5G coverage from EE.

BT's 5G service will be offered to both personal and business customers, while customers of BT Plus (the company's combined mobile and broadband plans) will be given the option to upgrade ahead of other customers.

Offering 5G on BT Plus will also make BT the first UK network to provide 5G as part of a converged mobile and broadband package.

The network hasn’t yet confirmed how much its 5G plans will cost or what 5G handsets will be offered, but EE currently sells the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, LG V50 ThinQ and Oppo Reno 5G, so BT may stock a similar selection.

Update: This article originally said BT's 5G network would arrive in August. This was a typo, and should have read Autumn. The article has been updated to reflect this.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.