The next-generation of the mobile network is here. With the launch of 5G on both sides of the Atlantic, it's time to upgrade your carrier plan. Here are the best 5G plans currently available in both the US and the UK.
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The new 5G offers so much promise, not only in terms of speed, but also in reliability and stability. This mobile networking technology will become the new standard over the next 10 years, but there are still only a couple of devices out there that are ready to connect to 5G networks. Before you sign up for a 5G plan from your chosen carrier, make sure your device is compatible with the new network. You can see a list of 5G ready smartphones at the link below.
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5G technology is already live in some parts of the US, and both Verizon and Sprint are already selling 5G plans to customers. On sprint, you can get a new LG V50 ThinQ 5G to access the network, or there is also the option of the HTC hub. Verizon, on the other hand, has the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (which is also available on Sprint) as its flagship 5G smartphone. You can probably also expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which will launch later this year and will almost certainly have 5G capability, to hit Verizon too. Here are the best plans for each carrier.
Verizon Beyond Unlimited
Verizon's Beyond Unlimited plan is, as the carrier puts it, for "streamers who want more". The contract covers 5G access with a compatible 5G smartphone and comes with unlimited 5G ultra wideband data. You also get unlimited 4K HD streaming and unlimited 5G ultra wideband hotspot support too. For when you venture out of a 5G coverage area and have to rely on good old 4G LTE, you'll get 22 GB of data a month with the Beyond Unlimited plan.
Prices start at $50 per month, plus taxes and fees. If you want a little more and don't mind spending an extra $10 a month, you could go for the Above Unlimited plan. It is identical in terms of what it offers for 5G, but comes with 75 GB of 4G LTE data and an exclusive 500 GB of Verizon Cloud storage and Apple Music is included in the package.
Sprint Unlimited Premium
Sprint's 5G network is slower than Verizon's (it's on the 2.5 Ghz spectrum) but you do get more coverage. The price is also higher at $80 per month, but you do get a lot of additional extras thrown in for that. As well as 100GB of hotspot data, with Sprint Unlimited Premium you get access to Amazon Prime (worth $12.99 per month) plus a free subscription to Hulu and Tidal, the Jay Z-backed music streaming service.
Sprint is also offering $250 off of a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G when you lease the smartphone with a new line of service. The price seems steep at first, but when you really crunch the numbers and factor in the additional free services and discounts, there's not much between Sprint and Verizon in terms of price.
The UK saw the birth of its first 5G network on May 30, 2019. There's still not loads of choice in terms of operators, but all the big players are working on 5G and the competition is about to heat up in the second half of the year. Six major cities are currently up and running, but expansion is coming soon.
EE 5G Smart Plan
As things stand, EE is your best bet if you are shopping for a 5G plan in the UK. The operator is calling this its 5G Smart Plan. You get access to the EE 4G network, unlimited minutes for calls, unlimited texts and roaming across 48 destinations including the EU. The idea is that even if you don't have a 5G-ready smartphone, you can take this plan and then when you do get a 5G device you get all of the existing benefits, plus access to EE's 5G network.
Also thrown in three swappable benefits, much like what the US carriers are doing. The most exciting of which is probably access to the BT Sport HDR app. This means you can watch both Premier League and UEFA Champion's League football directly on your smart on the 5G network. This is going to be a big draw for a lot of UK customers. other swappable benefits include a Music Data Pass for Apple Music and Deezer and a Roam Further Pass for access to mobile networks in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
The EE 5G plans start at £37 per month with two swappable benefits, included. The top package costs £47 per month.
As for Vodaphone, o2 and Three, all have confirmed that 5G networks are coming in 2019, but we don't have concrete information on plans and prices yet.
Are you ready to get a 5G plan from your carrier? Which one would you go for?