O2’s 5G network is now available in 20 major UK towns and cities, fulfilling a pledge to cover a score of locations before the end of 2019.

The operator switched on its first 5G masts in October, covering the four UK capitals – Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London – as well as Leeds and its home of Slough in Berkshire.

Leicester and Lisburn joined the party the following month.

Now O2 5G has launched in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, Sheffield, Coventry, Nottingham, Norwich, Bristol, Derby and Stoke, significantly expanding the reach of the service.

The next milestone will be 50 locations, a figure which O2 expects to reach by the summer. It has confirmed Windsor, Eton, Reading, Blackpool, Bournemouth and Guildford will be switched on by end of March.

“We were incredibly proud to switch on our 5G network in October, and it is brilliant to hit our target of 20 towns and cities connected to our next-generation network,” declared O2 COO Derek McManus.

“I believe 5G is going to revolutionise the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society. We’re excited about getting it into the hands of our customers across the UK, and continuing to work with our partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.”

EE was the first UK operator to launch 5G back in May with Vodafone following later that summer. Three also has a 5G network but this is currently limited to Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband.