5G isn’t even out yet and already OnePlus announced it will sell the first phone in the UK to use the , the company announced on Wednesday at the annual Qualcomm press summit held in Maui, Hawaii. The Chinese phone brand will offer its inaugural 5G phone through UK carrier EE before making the device available through other wireless networks around the world.
The phone-maker also confirmed that the first OnePlus 5G phone isn’t going to be the OnePlus 7, the expected follow-up device to the OnePlus 6T, a CNET Editors’ Choice pick. As CNET previously reported, OnePlus will spin up a second line of 5G phones that exists outside its current family of phones (the OnePlus 3T, 5, 6 and so on). This will mark only the second time that OnePlus has created a distinct second line, following the OnePlus X in 2015.
EE’s 5G network will span 16 UK cities in 2019, starting with London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester. Later, 5G speeds will roll out to Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.
Along with Samsung and Motorola, OnePlus is eager to announce its early attachment to a 5G carrier. 5G will gradually replace 4G LTE data speeds with an even faster connection that promises to upload and download whole movies, large photo files, games and music at a fraction of the time as your current phone.
Although the first 5G networks and phones aren’t expected until mid-2019, phone brands like OnePlus are banking on customers’ willingness to switch to a “future-proofed” 5G-ready device as a way to get ahead of competitors that are slower to adopt 5G.
By proactively announcing its future 5G phone, the statistically small OnePlus brand is also broadcasting to carriers and buyers all over the world that it’s serious about growth. OnePlus is the top phone brand in India and recently cracked the notoriously difficult US carrier market when it began selling the OnePlus 6T with T-Mobile in November.
OnePlus declined to comment on the name of its future 5G phone, but given its straightforward naming conventions over the years, “OnePlus 5G” wouldn’t be a far-fetched guess.
This story originally published on Dec. 5 at 11:26am PT.
Update: Dec. 5 at 4:05pm PT to clarify that this will be the first 5G phone in UK, not the world.