Vodafone 5G Ultra is the network’s answer to improved 5G, boasting a more reliable signal and other benefits for users in the UK – but what’s so good about it, and how do Vodafone subscribers get access?
While you might assume that all 5G-connected devices on the Vodafone network will be able to take advantage of Vodafone 5G Ultra, sadly, that’s not the case. Instead, you’ll need to be on a fairly recent contract and have one of the (very few) supported devices to take advantage of the tech.
It’s not as straightforward as some might’ve assumed, then, but that’s where we at Trusted Reviews come in.
Here, we explain everything you need to know about the Vodafone 5G Ultra network connectivity, including differences from regular 5G, supported devices, coverage and how you can take advantage.
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How is Vodafone 5G Ultra different from regular 5G?
You might assume that Vodafone 5G Ultra is just faster 5G connectivity, but you’d be wrong. In fact, 5G Ultra speeds are just as capable as regular 5G, with average speeds of around 150-200Mbps (though with a theoretical limit of 1Gbps).
So, what then is Vodafone 5G Ultra and why is it such a big deal?
According to Vodafone, the new connectivity tech uses a lower 5G spectrum than most other providers to deliver better 5G connectivity, with the firm claiming up to a million more people will be able to access 5G via 5G Ultra.
Users of the network should also see better connectivity in busy places like stadiums and festivals where connectivity is traditionally non-existent due to network bottlenecks.
5G Ultra isn’t just a better signal though; it actually improves your smartphone’s battery life, with Vodafone’s testing on a Samsung Galaxy S22 showing a battery life boost of 25% compared to standard 5G connectivity.
This is apparently possible thanks to the networks’ “inbuilt battery-saving feature”, though details of the specifics are light on the ground. The 5G Ultra network is said to be more efficient than standard 5G too, communicating with your device less often while still providing solid 5G connectivity.
It’s also a service exclusively available for Pay Monthly subscribers – sorry PAYG users.
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Where is Vodafone 5G Ultra available?
Vodafone’s 5G Ultra network is rolling out across the UK at the moment, with the company confirming connectivity in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff is already available, along with a few other areas of the country.
Granted, that’s not too specific, which is why Vodafone has a 5G Ultra coverage checker available on its website for anyone interested in using the upgraded connectivity tech.
The benefit of 5G Ultra using a lower band of the 5G spectrum should allow the signal to travel much farther than regular 5G too, improving coverage in general.
Which smartphones are compatible with Vodafone 5G Ultra?
With Vodafone’s 5G Ultra network needing specific tech and software support to function, only a select handful of phones can connect to the network at present. Just because your phone supports regular 5G doesn’t mean it’ll be compatible with 5G Ultra, even if it’s available in your area.
At present, it seems that only a handful of Samsung-branded smartphones are compatible with the network, though we’ve reached out to Vodafone for clarification and we’ll update this section once we hear back.
For now though, the following devices are officially compatible with Vodafone 5G Ultra:
Given the fondness for Samsung devices, you might assume the Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 Plus and S23 Ultra are also compatible, but Vodafone has confirmed to Trusted Reviews that they aren’t currently supported.
How do I get Vodafone 5G Ultra on my smartphone?
There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that, as long as your smartphone supports 5G Ultra, you should be able to access the tech in areas that it’s available in.
The bad news, however, is that it’s only available if you purchased a monthly phone contract from Vodafone from 24 February 2023 onwards. Those on older pay monthly contracts have no way to make the move to 5G Ultra at present, aside from getting a new Vodafone contract once their current one ends.
If you did start your contract after the 24th of February and have a compatible phone, you should receive a text once 5G Ultra is available in your area.