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Community Manager
Community Manager
Message 1 of 8

5G is coming to BT

Good afternoon.

In July we announced that 5G would be coming to BT in the Autumn. I am happy to confirm that we have now launched 5G on BT.  


What phone plans are available?


We’ve added five new 5G compatible smartphones to our range and we’re launching with four new 5G plans - each offering double data.

Customers can choose from a 12GB, 30GB, 60GB or 200GB 5G handset plan, starting from just £45 per month:

See what phone are available from here, 5G on BT Mobile


All plans include our BT Sport app, so customers can keep up with all the live sporting action on the move as well as at home. They also get all the existing mobile benefits that come with BT Plus including:

  • Fastest 4G Speeds
  • Mobile Data Boost
  • Keep Connected Promise


Note: Non BT plus customers can still purchase a new 5G handset with a 4G plan, but to experience the benefits of 5G you will need to be a BT plus customer and have the following three things:

  1. A 5G Handset
  2. A 5G BT Mobile handset plan
  3. 5G Coverage


What does 5G mean?

5G is the ‘fifth generation’ of mobile communication technology. It’s about enhancing the experience you have today and bringing you the best mobile experience you’ve ever had. The first generation, ‘1G’, was introduced in the 1980s and since then each standard has been faster, bringing more features and capability to mobile phones.

4G launched in 2012 and it revolutionised the way we use our phones, bringing speeds fast enough to do things like check social media and watch YouTube on-the-go. 

Fast forward to 2019 and 5G is here, and is set to transform our lives even more.


What is the difference between 4G and 5G?

5G will work hand-in-hand with 4G: when you connect to 5G on BT, you’re actually connecting to both the 4G and 5G parts of the network at the same time, and you get the combined power of all that 4G and 5G capacity. 


The benefits of 5G include:

Speed: Better average speeds will bring a higher quality experience, making downloading  movies, music, photos and more even faster. 5G has the potential to give customers 1Gbps speeds to their smartphones, and the average, everyday speeds for customers should lift by approximately 150Mbps.  


Capacity: In busy places such as music concerts and football stadiums, the amount of people using the 4G network means it can be a struggle to do things like upload pictures to Instagram, post tweets or load web pages. 5G brings greater capacity, so more people can use the mobile network at the same time without interruptions.


Latency: 5G has what’s called low latency. Latency is the time between an action being performed (such a pressing a button in a video game) and the response.  You may also know this as lag.  

Low lag gives you the edge when gaming; it could be the difference between winning a tackle in FIFA or not.

This low lag and instant connection 5G brings will also improve the experience of streaming live sport - there won’t be that frustrating delay when you favourite team score and you watch it seconds later.

The video below by Ericsson - one of BT’s research partners – shows how important it is in gaming.


What else can you use 5G for?

As the technology matures, 5G will unlock a wealth of exciting possibilities for numerous industries including: automotive, transport, health, social care, broadcast and entertainment. The BT Group has been demonstrating this potential around the country.

Musician Jamie Cullum participated in the world’s first 5G music lesson, playing live from London with musicians in Bristol and Birmingham. This experiment showcased how 5G’s instant connection enables people to learn wherever they are.

5G can be used to enhance shared group experiences. We streamed footage from the FA Cup final at Wembley, which meant people around the country share an immersive virtual reality and augmented reality experience without being at the game.

It can also speed up diagnosis and reduce hospital visits. In June we demonstrated the country’s first remote ultrasound. A paramedic performed the ultrasound and the imagery was sent over 5G to a clinician who could make a remote diagnosis. The clinician could even operate an ultrasound probe remotely, using a joystick which sends information to a haptic glove worn by the paramedic.  


What frequency will 5G use?

In the air around us are radio waves of different frequencies, which make up the electromagnetic spectrum.  

We will be rolling out our 5G services on the acquired 3.4GHz spectrum.


Does 5G use more data? 

 Whether it’s watching a YouTube video, sending a WhatsApp or navigating using Google Maps, every time you connect to the internet and you aren’t on WiFi, you use data.

5G doesn’t use more data than 4G, but because it’s so much faster, you may find yourself doing more things that use data, such as downloading box sets or streaming sport or movies in a higher resolution.


How do I get 5G on BT?

When 5G launches this autumn, it will only be available for BT Plus customers.  With BT Plus  join us for superfast broadband and mobile and you can get some brilliant benefits, such as Double Data and our fastest 4G.

5G is initially launching in parts of London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester and is being rolled out to Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol will have 5G by the end of 2019.




Message 2 of 8

Re: 5G is coming to BT

Hi Sean I'm in leeds and I called customer services today who advised as a Halo customer my existing sim card would pick up 5g on my new note 10 5g but there is no 5g showing. Is the information correct and is 5g rolled out in leeds as we signal checker shows it is

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Message 3 of 8

Re: 5G is coming to BT

Hi @Atlasj2 

The above suggests that you need a 5G phone plan in addition to a 5G handset and being a Halo customer. Have you changed to a 5G calling plan?

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Message 4 of 8

Re: 5G is coming to BT

Dont get me started I've phoned BT customer services twice today. First agent said i couldn't have one as my home postcode was not 5g ready but i tried to argue i might want to use my mobile at work (Leeds) or out ( Manchester). I then complained, spoke to a further team who said i didnt need to change plan as a Halo customer my existing sim would work. To be honest after walking through Leeds city centre and picking up no 5g I'm not convinced this my query here to see what others thought.
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Message 5 of 8

Re: 5G is coming to BT

Hi Arlasj2,  welcome to the community and thanks for posting, I'm really sorry about the conflicting information provided when you called today. It's correct that you need to be a Halo customer in order to get 5G however you will also need to upgrade to a 5G handset plan. 

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Message 6 of 8

Re: 5G is coming to BT

Thanks Neil. So what do you advise call customer services again? The last agent also upgraded me from a 6GB to 10GB plan so now I'm locked into 12months on a 4g sim.
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Message 7 of 8

Re: 5G is coming to BT

Okay so I've just clicked in your response "Handset plan" which means "BT dont do 5g sim only". I've also rang back and had this confirmed, there is no future timeline at BT to roll out 5g sim only Halo or otherwise. So I reluctantly had to get a PAC code and need to move to EE or Vodafone. Real shame as I'm happy having all plans with BT.

Message 8 of 8

Re: 5G is coming to BT

Also looking at moving to a 5G handset (probably sim free) in the next couple of months. Would be nice to stay with BT as sim only, and wouldn't mind upgrading to Halo for 5G but handset only plans are a bit rubbish.
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