What is 5G on BT

5G is the next generation of mobile technology. It works in the same way as existing mobile network technology, but gives you a faster and more reliable connection, even when you're in the busiest places.

What are the benefits of 5G?

5G is much faster than 4G, which is the technology most of our smartphones use. Faster speeds mean you can download movies and box sets in seconds rather than minutes, and stream live sports on-the-go.

You get a more reliable connection with 5G, particularly in crowded places like train stations and stadiums. This means you can share photos and videos, and make video calls.

With 5G you’ll also get an almost instant connection, making everyday tasks feel super-fast. Web pages will load much more quickly, and you can play games and stream videos without lag.

How does 5G differ from 4G?

Mobile network technology is continually evolving. We’ve moved from 1G to 2G and 3G to 4G, each faster than the previous version, enabling you to do more things with your phone.

5G is not a replacement for 4G, it will work alongside our 4G network and your phone will use both to keep you connected. 5G is being built in the busiest parts of the busiest cities in the UK.

If you’ve got a 4G phone, don’t worry it will still work - we're continuing to invest in our 4G network and are rolling it out to more rural areas.

Does 5G use more data?

5G doesn't use more data than 4G, but because download speeds are much quicker and the connection is instant, you might find yourself doing more things that use data. For example, you can download more box sets, play more online games on-the-go, or stream Netflix in a higher resolution.

If you keep going over your monthly data allowance, with our Plan Flex you can easily move to a plan with more data.

Or if you need extra data as a one-off, you can get a data-add on. These are available in 5GB, 10GB and 15GB from My Mobile.

What do I need to get 5G?

To use 5G, you will need a 5G ready SIM, in a 5G enabled device. All of our SIM Only plans bought since 1 September 2020 come with SIMs that are 5G ready, so you’re all set to make the most of everything 5G has to offer. You just need to use the SIM in a 5G device and to be in a 5G area.

All of our Family SIM plans bought since 13 November 2020 come with SIMs that are 5G ready. To make the most of everything 5G has to offer, you need to use the SIMs in a 5G device and be in a 5G area.

BT Mobile currently do not currently sell 5G ready handset plans. We'll let you know when we start doing so.

If you bought a handset plan from us before 1 September 2020, you will retain your 5G plan, meaning you will still have access to 5G speeds when in a 5G area. 

You need to be in a 5G area for 5G to work. See where 5G is available with our coverage checker.

Is 5G safe?

5G technology is highly regulated and we work within strict guidelines. 5G uses radio waves, these radio waves have been used for mobile and WiFi networks for decades. They have been tested and there is no evidence of harmful effects.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radio Protection (ICNIRP) publishes guidelines around safe exposure limits to radio waves including 5G, which BT strictly adheres to.

Radio waves are ‘non-ionizing’ which means they don’t have the energy to change the structure of a cell. In contrast, X-rays and gamma rays are ionizing, which is why there are lots of precautions when you have an X-ray.

The UK Government also stated that: “While a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves is possible when 5G is added to the existing network, the overall exposure is expected to remain low and well within the ICNIRP guidelines."

We also have strict exclusion zones around our sites, so no one can get too close.

5G: Facts about health concerns >

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