Vodafone switches on 5G global roaming for $5/day

The UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain and Italy will be Vodafone's first 5G global roaming destinations.

By David Flynn, March 5 2020
Vodafone switches on 5G global roaming for $5/day

Vodafone Australia is launching 5G mobile roaming in five key countries under the telco's travel-friendly $5/day global roaming package.

Subscribers visiting the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain and Italy around the middle of 2020 will be connected to those countries' Vodafone 5G networks, "with more destinations to be added over time."

"In the coming months, we will be leading international roaming into the next generation of mobile technology by combining the great value of our $5 Roaming product with a 5G network experience in five of Australia’s favourite travel destinations," promises Vodafone Australia CEO Iñaki Berroeta.

The promise of this global giddy-up comes as the challenger telco, which will later this year merge with TPG, fires up its domestic 5G network with the first sites going live at Parramatta, in Sydney's western suburbs.

Vodafone's 5G network will be "progressively rolled out to parts of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Canberra" from mid-2020, with the first phase of the rollout spanning more than 650 sites and "thousands more on our roadmap over coming years," Berroeta said.

The need for 5G speed

How fast will Vodafone's fledgling 5G network be? If tests of Vodafone 5G in London are anything to go by, expect average speeds of 150-200Mbps with peak bursts upwards of 500Mbps – a 10x turbocharge over 4G – with uploads close clocking to 100Mbps.

In more straightforward terms, you could download a full 12-episode season of shows such as as Star Trek: Picard in two minutes, as long as you stay put within the 5G network halo rather than risk dropping off to 4G.

Vodafone says 5G access will come at no additional charge, but with such superfast speeds at hand, heavy-duty users who are tempted to indulge in bandwidth-hungry applications such as video streaming might do well to revisit their current plans and consider upping the data allowance.

As for the necessary high-speed hardware: Samsung will this week begin selling its 5G Galaxy S20 smartphones, with Huawei's forthcoming P40 family expected to boast 5G when it breaks cover on March 26.

Apple's iPhone 12 series, due to drop in September 2020, is also highly likely to put 5G on the roster.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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