British telecoms giant EE says to launch 5G without Huawei

Ruben Fields
May 22, 2019

United Kingdom mobile firm EE unveiled a lineup of launch devices this morning for when it flicks the switch on 5G services in six British cities, with one notable absence: Huawei.

EE is dropping Huawei phones from its 5G launch.

EE will be the UK's first network to switch on commercial 5G.

Taiwan's telcos Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile also said they would stop the sale of new Huawei devices, pointing to Google's lack of support as a reason, reported Nikkei.

A second stage rollout will see Aberdeen, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Dundee, Exeter, Ipswich, Norwich, Plymouth and York get 5G in 2020 on EE.

The 5G news keeps on rolling this morning - Vodafone has now been in touch to say it is bizarrely cancelling a 5G launch event scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) in London "due to the ongoing media agenda". 5G SIM-only plans will be available from 20GB per month (£32 per month) and rising to 100GB (£52 per month).

O2 are also planning to bring in 5G this year but are so far yet to provide any concrete dates.

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"Lots of uncertainty surrounds 5G in light of the recent security concerns surrounding Huawei", said telecoms analyst Paolo Pescatore of PP Insight.

Mr Allera said the company has "worked for decades with government" and "at the moment we have no instructions to change our plans", amid security fears around the use of Huawei in 5G networks.

It is expected to offer internet speeds that are several times more than the current generation 4G.

The country's biggest carrier, NTT Docomo, also announced it was suspending pre-orders for a new Huawei handset, but stopped short of halting the release itself.

Back in September 2018, EE said it was upgrading more than 500 4G mobile towers in preparation for the rollout, and building 5G sites on top of the upgraded sites.

EE said they expect customers to experience an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbps "even in the busiest areas".

All of this sounds like very good news, although it may initially be a tougher sell to convince consumers that 5G is worth it on their Smartphone vs the existing 4G services (ultrafast speeds aren't as important on a small screen, particularly if you can already get good speeds). "Higher bandwidth and lower latency, coupled with expansive and growing 5G coverage, will enable a more responsive network, enabling truly immersive mobile augmented reality, real-time health monitoring, and mobile cloud gaming".

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