EE reveals its 5G launch plan for 2019

EE to roll out 5G in 16 cities next year in 'demand-led' strategy

EE to roll out 5G in 16 cities next year in 'demand-led' strategy

Mobile network provider EE has announced today that the capital will be one of six cities across the country chosen for the first phase of the launch, which will take place at some point next year. The initial launch will include London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester.

Throughout the rest of 2019, EE will work on extending its 5G coverage to parts of Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.

Alongside this announcement, EE has said that 5G smartphones from multiple partners will be available on the network.

BT shares were trading down 1.2% at 251.65 pence each on Tuesday afternoon.

Ahead of all this, EE is upgrading transmission to 10Gbps links at each 5G site, and both EE and BT (which owns EE) are virtualising elements of the core network for the 5G rollout, as well as constructing a next generation 5G core (in line with the next stage of global 5G standards) on a cloud native infrastructure. "EE is upgrading to 5G where it can make the biggest difference to the most people", said the operator. One site in Waterloo station alone, we're told, carries more than 100 terabytes of data per day.

"We know that 5G in 2019 will not be about autonomous cars, smart cities, automated factories", said Marc Allera, CEO of BT's Consumer division; instead, the emphasis in the short term will be on delivering very high peak data speeds for mobile users and creating a consistent and reliable service above and beyond 4G, he said.

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A spokesman for EE said that 5G will give customers in the busiest parts of the United Kingdom more capacity on their devices and a faster and more reliable mobile experience with a better data connection.

BT's 21CN backbone network is also said to be Petabit-class, which is important because the new connections will be much more data hungry than before.

The firm is now running two trials of 5G connectivity in Canary Wharf and east London to test the real-world use of the new, faster networks. This is another milestone for the United Kingdom and for our network journey - we'll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network for our customers.

As well as increasing capacity, EE is expanding 4G coverage into rural parts of the United Kingdom to give rural communities the coverage and capacity that they need.

Further explanation of the reasons for choosing its launch locations revolves around the specific EE cell sites that have to deal with the most traffic. New devices and functionality are being tested in the state-of-the-art Borehamwood test lab.

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