Telecoms giant O2 has announced the first five cities in which 5G will be enabled in the coming months.

The firm said it intends to launch the service in London, Slough, Leeds Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh by October, initially focussing on high-footfall areas including sports venues and train stations.

A further rollout into a total of 50 towns and cities is expected to be complete in twelve months’ time.

O2 will be the last of the UK's network coverage providers to roll out 5G, which Ofcom said will allow real world speeds of between 10 and 50Gbps.

It is the only network provider to do so without using technology from Huawei, the Chinese firm caught up in an ongoing trade friction over its cybersecurity measures.

A UK government decision, which is currently postponed, could mean a ban on Huawei equipment being used within any of the UK's 5G networks.

O2 has opted to use tech from vendors Ericsson and Nokia.

Vodafone was the first vendor to switch on its 5G connection in October 2018 from a location in Salford, Greater Manchester.

It has now enabled sites in Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool, allowing those with the technology to begin using the new connection.

Yesterday O2 announced that it had agreed to share new 5G enabled equipment with Vodafone, such as radio antennas, on joint network sites across the UK.

At the 5G transmission sites, the rivals will install their own radio equipment, fibre connection and power supply, while sharing the physical elements such as the mast.

The agreement has been designed to roll out 5G sooner, helping to build a competitive digital economy and encouraging new services which take advantage of the enhanced speed.