Vodafone joins EE in offering 5G in Britain

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Vodafone on Wednesday launched its 5G service in the UK, but without smartphones from controversial Chinese technology giant Huawei.

By sidelining Huawei phones, Vodafone has mirrored action by fellow British mobile network operator and internet service provider, EE. EE became the first UK provider to roll out the technology that offers almost instantaneous data transfer with its own launch at the end of May.

“5G will transform the way we live and work,” Vodafone UK Chief Executive Officer Nick Jeffery said Wednesday.

“Our customers are streaming over 50 percent more content today than they did last year, and with 5G the demand for data is only set to increase.”

Vodafone has launched in seven UK cities, including London and Birmingham, but will not be offering the service on the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G smartphone, as is the case with EE.

Huawei faces pushback in some Western markets over fears that Beijing could spy on communications and gain access to critical infrastructure if allowed to develop foreign 5G networks.

The Chinese company flatly denies what it describes as “unsubstantiated claims” about being a security threat.

While Vodafone does not use Huawei in its core UK network, it does rely on a mixture of Ericsson and Huawei technology in its radio access network or masts.

Vodafone has meanwhile stressed that there are “multiple” layers of security between the masts and the core network.

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