EE to switch on UK's first 5G network on May 30

Daniel Fowler
May 22, 2019

5G will be available starting in six cities: London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G was one of the first 5G phones we were expecting to reach the shores of the United Kingdom, after Huawei announced the handset at its United Kingdom 5G launch event.

EE will be the first United Kingdom network to flip the switch on 5G in the region in little over a week's time.

Nevertheless EE says they deploying 5G "rapidly from today" and intend to add more than 100 new sites per month (each is expected to be linked via a 10Gbps fibre line).

A couple of weeks ago, Vodafone announced plans to become the first United Kingdom carrier to offer 5G, with the service set to go live in July.

Phase 2, from 2022, will introduce the full next generation 5G core network, enhanced device chipset capabilities, and increased availability of 5G-ready spectrum. The company stated that it "is a temporary measure while uncertainty exists regarding new Huawei 5G devices".

This comes on the same day as Japanese flat-rate budget mobile brand Ymobile announced a delay of its launch of Huawei's P30 Lite handset and chip designer Arm is said to have pressed pause on all contracts with the Chinese firm.

In December a year ago, EE made it clear that the Huawei's equipment would not be present in its 5G core infrastructure, having begun a process to remove the kit from the core of its 3G and 4G networks in 2016.

US Fighter Planes Intercept Russian Bombers Near Alaska, Says NORAD
A map from the FAA shows the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) extending around the state's coastline. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD, said its "top priority is defending Canada and the United States".

Along with 5G data access, EE is also offering swappable benefits which will include a Video Data Pass, Roaming Pass, Music Data Pass, Gamers Data Pass and BT Sport App HD HDR.

Branding hangs outside a Vodafone shop in Oxford, Britain, May 16, 2017.

"Being first-to-market with 5G matters little to consumers, but is clearly an important honour for BT", said Kester Mann, principle analyst for operators at research firm CCS Insight.

Not only is EE dropping Huawei phones from its 5G launch, but BT is also in the process of removing Huawei technology from portions of its 4G network.

"The initial premium will quickly erode as we've seen with previous generations".

It aims to have 1,500 5G sites by the end of 2019.

The operator has already begun several trials of the new network using the 3.4GHz band, although the lack of supporting 5G capable Smartphones meant that initially these were primarily focused upon 1Gbps+ capable fixed wireless broadband ISP style connections for homes and businesses (here and here).

Other reports by

Discuss This Article